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National Depression Screening Day

By bukvich in Culture
Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:26:54 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Thursday October 11 is National Depression Screening Day. This is an effort of the American Psychiatric Association to make it easy and cheap for people who need professional mental health attention to get it. If you live in the U.S. and have access to a web browser, you can find a mental health professional in your neighborhood to talk to for free on Thursday.


This is an annual event, but it is not well publicized in every community. Part of this is that mental illness is not a subject that people feel free to talk about openly. Since the consequences can be fatal (e.g. suicide is a public health menace which is not widely discussed), it is not that great an exaggeration to take a cue from the AIDS activists and say, Silence = Death. According to the statistics I have seen, eighty percent of the people who are classified as depressed at the screening sites are undergoing no treatment whatsoever. People need to hear about this. There are effective treatments. It isn't like a penicillin shot for a bacterial infection. They don't always work. But they usually help. There is absolutely no reason to suffer needlessly. Do not be embarassed. If you need help, go get it! And please spread the word.

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National Depression Screening Day | 54 comments (53 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Back in the days when I was depressed... (4.41 / 17) (#1)
by daystar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 12:44:37 PM EST

... I took the online depression-screening test at depression.com (!) and it said I was morbidly depressed, seek help immediately, etc. The thing is, I was POSITIVE that I wasn't actually depressed, just that life had no meaning and I was tired of living. It took some convincing to get me to recognize that THAT was what depression is.

But now I think of depression as a CHOICE. You don't HAVE to be depressed, you just have to learn to make your brain happy. A lot of our culture (not to mention our counter-culture...) trains you to be depressed and eventually kill yourself. It's not easy to learn to keep yourself alive, but it's well worth it.

I would highly recommend THE FEELING GOOD HANDBOOK by Daved Burns to everyone, depressed or not.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.

bummer (4.00 / 7) (#3)
by pmacko on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:29:16 PM EST

I tried visiting depression.com and it didn't exist. That's depressing.

[ Parent ]
try this link (4.33 / 6) (#4)
by swf on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:47:31 PM EST

http://www.depression-screening.org/screeningtest/screen.cfm

[ Parent ]
Results: (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by Ludwig on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:43:54 AM EST

It told me to go to an emergency room or call 911 because I'm at risk of harming myself!

I don't know how 911 dispatchers would take it ("What's the emergency, please?" "Well, I'm depressed, and my computer told me to call."), but I used to work in an ER, and the last thing they need is more clinic cases (that is, people who should be going to a clinic instead due to the non-emergent nature of their injuries -- warts, hemorrhoids, ingrown toenails, etc. I'm not trying to trivialize depression, but it's very rarely an ER-appropriate case.) sitting around the waiting room.

At any rate, as the disclaimer says, it's no substitute for a screening by a professional. For instance, it asked if I've had trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, which I haven't, but it doesn't want to know if I've gotten out of bed in the past two days (barely), which is an even stronger symptom.

[ Parent ]

same here (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by crayz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:58:56 AM EST

I got the "you are probably clinically depressed" message too. oh well.

I think it's sorta hard to separate out characteristics of depression from just being sort of a weirdo. like, I am writing this at 3:50AM, when I have a class tomorrow at 9AM and stll haven't done homework. I have trouble getting to sleep. but maybe that's just because I like staying up late(I do in the summer, and sleep a perfecltly normal 8 hours, from say 6AM-2PM).

OTOH, maybe the fact that I like being awake when it's dark and there are no people around is itself a sign of depression.

I dunno. I sort of feel depressed, but all the experts say depression is in your mind it's not something real. except I know the reason I'm depressed is that my life really *does* suck and really is pretty hopeless. in which case, isn't depression the appropriate emotion?

I also don't really like the idea of taking medicine that improves my mood. Some people say stuff like zoloft is really good, and some describe it more like a lobotomy. It also seems like a cop-out to take a drug to make you feel good when there's really not much reason to. again OTOH, something that made me a little less socially inept and she might be a godsend.

I've always had mood swings, but it used to be from good to bad. Now it's more like bad to suicidal. Right now I'm just kind of going through the motions, hoping for an improvement at some point.

"life goes on, it always does, until it doesn't" - that's my motto for now

[ Parent ]
Please, go for the screening. (3.66 / 3) (#18)
by szap on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:08:23 AM EST

but all the experts say depression is in your mind it's not something real.
It is something real. If lack of Vitamin C leads to scurvy and is real, so is lack of serotonin (brain chemical) leading to depression. Almost all sources I've read on depression never claimed that it isn't. The only thing I remembered reading that quote -- it's just your mind -- is that it's listed in the "Worst advice to give to a clinically depressed"
taking medicine.... seems like a cop-out to make you feel good
The medicine is supposed to make you feel more normal, which incidentally is a lot better than the clinically depressed is feeling. Besides, medication is only one of several treatments.
I've always had mood swings, but it used to be from good to bad. Now it's more like bad to suicidal. Right now I'm just kind of going through the motions, hoping for an improvement at some point.
I was clinically depressed (and unfortunately seem to be relapsing recently) and I've come to recognize what you just said as one of the signs of depression, possibly bipolar. Besides, you just described daystar's experience. :) Please, do yourself a favour, check with a professional. You may or may not be a weirdo, but you sure are depressed. First step is stop the denial. Worry about the rest later.

[ Parent ]
maybe... (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by crayz on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:24:01 AM EST

But to restate my point, is it really depression if I'm justified in being depressed? I mean, say your dog that you've had for 15 years dies. You're sort of sad for a week. Does anyone tell you you're depressed and should get help?

If not, and if someone is in a more permanently depressing situation and is sad because of it, is that really clinical depression?

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I can identify what in my life I don't like. I don't feel right now that I can change it, but I can identify it. If it did change, I would no longer be depressed. So I don't really think I'm "depressed"(in the medical sense) in the first place. I'm just not happy because there's not much to be happy about.

[ Parent ]
Depression is a bit more than being sad (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by BlckKnght on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 11:45:44 PM EST

If you think that you can be "justified" in being depressed, you're short changing yourself. When bad thing happen its reasonable to be sad, but "things in life" that you can't control should not be making you sad all the time. If they are, yes, you are clinicaly depressed.

That shouldn't be a stigma! I think I am clinicaly depressed. I've been to see a counselor here at my college, and I it helps (though I've only been once so far and I'm still not too sure how it will work out). I strongly encourage you to see a counselor of some variety too.

The trouble with depression is that it tends to be self fulfiling. As you say, your life is out of your control and you will continue to be depressed until "something changes." If you talk to a counselor, they might suggest what you can do to take control of some of your problems and make those changes. Or perhaps they can help you be happy with your current situation. I don't know how it might work for you but it's worth trying.

The biggest worry I (and others in this thread) have is that a lot of people get so depressed that they commit suicide. For them, it makes a lot of sense, as their life "has nothing to be happy about." Suicide is a terrible tragedy, as there are always better solutions to be had, and it's all too permanent. I worry because it's hard to tell with sombody like you if you might think that way too. If you ever think about suicide, please do get help.

You deserve to be happy. Don't settle for less.

-- 
Error: .signature: No such file or directory


[ Parent ]
Boxes (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Herring on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:19:45 AM EST

It's in the interest of the "mental health professionals" to categorize everyone into boxes. That way they can prove that they're doing their job.

I've been prescribed different antidepressants before - tricyclics and the newer SSRIs. I can't deny that they do work - after a fashion, but I do wonder about the whole premise. In the days before antidepressants, we didn't have large proportions of the population ODing on sleeping pills or throwing themselves in front of trains. Why?

These days, if you don't like your life and that makes you unhappy, then you get pills. You are depressed. You have a label. My 8 year old stepdaughter has trouble relating to other children. She now has a label (Aspergers Syndrome). Once they have a label, they can treat that.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Re: Boxes (none / 0) (#38)
by szap on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:38:48 AM EST

I'm sorry if that had been your experience. I have learnt to cope without antidepressants, so pills are not the (only) answer. I only hope that people with depression actually make that first step towards finding ways to improve their situation, rather than dismissing it outright. However, if all the professionals do is just categorizing you, and giving you pills, then you've probably found the wrong one, or found one that don't know what to do, but to slap a label on it and hope for the best. Argh. Sounds terrible, but I'd most likely be doing that too if I was the pro. Like the way we (I?) used to tell people with computer problems: "Hmmm... probably a loose cable, jiggle that".

[ Parent ]
Coping (none / 0) (#39)
by Herring on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 04:38:10 AM EST

I have learned to cope without pills - although I still drink far too much.

It's a question that a lot of people keep asking, but why do so many people these days feel so dissatisfied with their lives? Is it the constant barrage of images in the media of people who are more successful/attractive than us? Is it missing "sprituality" in our lives (like why are so many people turning to crystals, spritual healing and other things which are quite clearly bollocks). I don't know.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Maybe it's just the morbid depression... (3.60 / 5) (#5)
by persimmon on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:29:15 PM EST

...but the suggestion that my mental health problem is my own fault and I just need to read the right book always makes me feel like finding something to kick in the pants.


--
It's funny because it's a blancmange!
[ Parent ]
how old were you? (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by Anon 20517 on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:04:26 PM EST

I frequently tend to have similar thoughts (that life is empty, pointless, etc.) but I would consider myself more of a cynic/pessimist than someone who's depressed. I think a lot of it might have to do with the fact that I'm 17, but I could be wrong. Besides, I can't stand the thought of hurting my family so much by killing myself. How old were you when you discovered this? I tend to write off my own thoughts as a byproduct of my age and value system.

--Greg

[ Parent ]
Started young... (4.33 / 3) (#11)
by daystar on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:23:08 AM EST

I felt that way when I was your age, and built my personality on it until I was THIRTY! By then, it just made SENSE to kill myself. Now I'm very glad I didn't. Much like you, the thing that stopped me was that I couldn't find a way to get my family to understand. I didn't want to HURT them, I just didn't want to be alive anymore.

I repeat, for the benefit of anyone who wants to hear: depression is a CHOICE. It CAN be consciously dealt with. Looking back, it breaks my heart to see how dedicated I was to feeling BAD. Life is a lot better from this side, let me tell you.

As for your situation, Greg, the primary indicator of depression is not sadness, it's hopelessness. If life seems hopeless/pointless, then you are either depressed or in a death camp. Odds are it's the former. I promise you that life can seem worthwhile. I hope you figure it out for yourself.

Christ, that sounded condescending. Sorry. Hang in there. Read the David Burns book.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
[ Parent ]

Choice? (4.50 / 4) (#12)
by Bad Harmony on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 12:38:11 AM EST

Christ on a pogo stick, depression is not a choice!

There are strong genetic and biochemical elements to depression. Reading a book does not make them go away.

Next someone will say that all you have to do is suck it up and choose to be rich, happy and thin.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Okay... (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by daystar on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:25:28 AM EST

You are certainly entitled to feel as horrible as you want. I say that humans can control their brains and train themselves to think in patterns that are not self-destructive.

Of course, noone consciously chooses to BE depressed, but you can choose to NOT be depressed. I'm not saying that there are not genetic/biochemical components to depression, I'm saying that you can treat it using your brain. If you would rather think of yourself as a miserable victim, tossed on the waves of cruel fate, well, that's your business. I say you can control your life.

Jeez, I sound like scientologist. I promise I'm not :-)

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
[ Parent ]

hardly.. (none / 0) (#27)
by nickco on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:31:31 AM EST

I have tried MANY methods to combat depression. I have tried pulling myself out of this hellish existence by 'training' myself to be happy. It doesn't work. I can force myself to do what I have to do, but I despise every moment of it. Death often times seems like such an appealing alternative to life that it is hard to think about anything else. I consider suicide every single day; not because my life is bad, it isn't. I have a relatively easy life.. in fact, the good things far outweigh the bad things. So, why am I depressed? I have no idea. I can only assume that a lack of certain chemicals in my brain is the root cause of the utter blackness(sadness, hopelessness, anger, hate) that clouds my existence.

So, please realize that it is not easy for everyone to simply end depression by changing the way they think. If that was the case I would be the happiest person alive.

Incidentally, the only things that have made a substantial difference are drugs and professional counseling. I am slowly recovering from years of 'bad thinking'. heh.

[ Parent ]
Here's another (3.33 / 3) (#13)
by Verminator on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:18:53 AM EST

This test was posted on the 'Sphere a couple days ago. While it's not intended to diagnose depression it does provide some useful insight into some other "disorders" a person might have.
If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state subsidized alcohol! And our powerlifting team better kick ass!
[ Parent ]
Oh, that one's a classic (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by kaatunut on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:19:43 AM EST

I'm proud (?) to tell I got high or very high in three disorders. I'd have more respect for the results, however, if they weren't different every time I took the test... except for "avoidant".

--
there's hole up in the sky from where the angels fall to sire children that grow up too tall, there's hole down in the ground where all the dead men go down purgatory's highways that gun their souls
[ Parent ]

Interresting... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by bored on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:22:32 PM EST

That test makes me look like a basket case.. I went on gut instinct on a lot of the questions. for instance "Do others accuse you of being rigid or stubborn?"... I think I put "yes" the first time around because I've been accused of being stubborn.. Who hasn't, it doesn't happen all the time though. Maybe if they worded it "Do others regularly accuse you of being rigid or stubborn?" the answer would have been no. I can understand why its possible to get different results every time. I found the questions with quantity qualifications much easier. "Do you occasionally or often dress or act provocatively to gain attention? " Easy, no, "Do you tend to lie a lot? ", No. "Do you prefer to be alone rather than in the company of others? ", sometimes, depends on how tired I am, who I'm with etc.. Some people, I would rather be alone, some people I like spending time with, even so, sometimes when people are over I just wish they would leave. Do should I put yes or no? Gezze, I get scored on questions that I basically flipped a coin on. Is that the point? Analyze people's attitudes with their gut responses? I might believe in this test a lot more if the results were repeatable.

[ Parent ]
Please don't dismiss this! (4.75 / 8) (#6)
by maveness on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:36:26 PM EST

Depression can lay waste to your life, and lead otherwise healthy individuals to destroy themselves.

Depression is NOT the same thing is as "the blues." Everyone feels down, sad, confused, or frustrated sometimes. Depression, however, can be incapaciting: people are unable to do their work, interact socially with others, take proper care of their own environments and bodies. It can start slowly and build in ways that an individual cannot always recognize for him- or herself.

There are things one can do. Exercise. Spend time with other human beings. Worship in a community. But the severely depressed person can often not even muster up the will to get out of bed each morning.

If you know anyone whose behavior seems to be deteriorating, please urge them to speak with a qualified professional and seek help. While no therapy (pharmaceutical or otherwise) is failproof, the results are often very very positive. And the alternatives are really horrendous. The suicide of a loved one is one of the most devasting experiences a person can have.

Shame can kill. Don't let the possibility of embarassment stop you from looking for help, or from supporting a friend in getting needed help.

*********
Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.

A clearer distinction (2.00 / 1) (#14)
by Elendale on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:22:32 AM EST

"The blues" are a response to outside forces exerting pressure on an individual, such as social problems or doing poorly in school. Depression is a state of mind caused by chemical changes within the brain. "The blues" will either go away on their own, or occassionaly turn into actual depression- but depression very rarely goes away on its own.
Bottom line on depression: If you want to feel better, don't bother fighting the damn thing on your own- its not much more effective than fighting a cold on your own.

-Elendale (is not a professional)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Blues vs. Depression (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by Ludwig on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:27:14 AM EST

I'm not a professional either, but I'd have to disagree. I think the feeling of being sad or "depressed" is proximately caused by the same chemical signals that a clinically depressed person is experiencing, but they are appropriate responses to external stimuli.

But the bottom line is the same. Silver linings and the power of positive thinking will only take you so far, and not very.

[ Parent ]

Current Events (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by maveness on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:40:03 PM EST

...One more thought. The current events -- terrorism on US soil and the new US response -- are a severe additional stressor on persons who are depressed or at risk for depression.

For those of you with access to counselors through school or work, I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity to speak with someone if you feel the slightest inclination to do so.

*********
Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.

Well... (2.00 / 3) (#8)
by stfrn on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:51:08 PM EST

Take advantage of a opportunity, yes, but we do not want the counselers overloaded.

"Man, I'm going to bed. I can't even insult people properly tonight." - Imperfect
What would you recomend to someone who doesn't like SPAM?
[ Parent ]
Better that than the alternative (none / 0) (#37)
by BlckKnght on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:16:36 AM EST

I think, and I'm sure professionals would agree, that it would be better to have packed counseling centers then to have suicidally depressed people go without treatment.

If you think you are a borderline case, go anyway and see what they say. You may not need as intensive therapy as other patients and you probably don't need drugs, but they can still help you.

-- 
Error: .signature: No such file or directory


[ Parent ]
I'm fine dammit! (4.00 / 11) (#9)
by wiredog on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:00:53 PM EST

Fucked up
Insecure
Neurotic and
Emotional

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

Your thoughts... (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by loualbano on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:32:55 AM EST

...sound fairly alarming to me.

I used to think all those things too. And believe me when I tell you I was in a bad way. I would look into it if I was you and I think a good way is to take advantage of this free deally coming up.

And if you go, don't be afraid to take any advice with a grain of salt. Keep an open mind, but remember that the piece of paper and the title these guys have don't necessarily mean that they know what they are doing. Just like technology professionals there are the ones that do it because they love it and are good at it and there are the ones that do it because their Dad did it or the money is good. It really isn't too hard to pick out the ones that are in it for the wrong reasons. For example, I was once told that I shouldn't walk around the house in my underwear. Never got a reason from him, but he made it clear that it was bad. If something they say doesn't make sense, question it and/or seek a second opinion.

Also remember that the solution to this situation could be nothing. It sounds like your thoughts are not destructive and/or debilitating enough to be seriously alarmed, but you might want to consider that these thoughts can lead to worse problems with your thinking, problems you probably couldn't understand if I tried to explain them (unless you already had them). Most of the time these type of really destructive problems manifests themselves in the form of suicidal or violent thoughts. Crying or screaming at the top of your lungs at nothing and for no reason that you can think of is another symptom of your thoughts taking control of you. Don't forget beating the piss out of your pillow and mattress. This was a favorite of mine that started out with me getting absolutely enraged at my inability to sleep.

My point is the potential situation at hand is well worth avoiding if the only thing it takes is going to talk to someone for free.

This post isn't supposed to be here (none / 0) (#21)
by loualbano on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:38:21 AM EST

Sorry, I dont know what happened. This post was supposed to be in response to crayz's post with the title "same here" under the "Back in the days when I was depressed" thread.

Can someone please move it?

[ Parent ]
Call me cynical but... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by EriKZ on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:57:39 AM EST

I picture them diagnosing all the patients that walk in the door with depression. Fixed with expensive drugs. Of course, you'll have to schedule return visits to see if it's effective, and to renew your prescription.

Heh, literally making money off of human misery.


[ Parent ]
follow the money (4.50 / 2) (#29)
by educated foo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:24:46 PM EST

This is independent of whether or not National Depression Screening Day is a useful exercise, but I thought it was interesting to note that the sponsors included Pfitzer and Eli Lilly (Prozac is something like their biggest money-maker of all time). While widespread screening may be (is probably) in many individuals' interest, it is definitely in Eli Lilly's.

/s

[ Parent ]

No, I don't think so. (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by Spatula on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:18:32 AM EST

I almost laugh (in sympathy) at people who like to claim that depression is not a normal thing. On the contrary, I tend to believe that depression is a completely normal thing. After all, everything in nature is cyclical, be it seasons, trends or emotions. Sure, a person may be depressed, but that doesn't mean that one has to spend hundreds of dollars a month to a person with a piece of paper to overcome the depression.

I don't want to diss the people out there that are actually incredibly clinically depressed at this time. I feel for you, and I have been there a few times over the past 7 years. However, there is usually an alternative to spending mucho dinero on 'psychologists', and that is changing or coping. Yes, I know that 'cope' is the direct opposite of 'change', but we do what is necessary, especially given the capricious nature of cash.

I have had my yins and my yangs, and they are both envious in certain ways. Perhaps the up side is much more acceptible than the down side, but I would feel robbed if I would not have had my bad months.

Take any advice you get from a psych grad student with a severely hefty grain of salt, people, as the psychologists are, after all, definitely wanting to keep revenue coming in to their profession.

Furthermore, take my advice with a hefty grain of salt, too. After all, I'm just a loser philosophy/comp. sci. major and women's studies/physics minor that will be flunking out of school this winter.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.

Disease (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by srichman on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:26:21 PM EST

Almost every professional psychologist believes that depression is a clinically-diagnosable, often biologically-induced disease. Are all these people quacks? Depression treatment is a $13+ billion a year industry. Are all these people being duped?

How do you address the large body of research that outlines neurochemical imbalances as causes of depression? How do you have the gumption to tell someone with a chemical imbalance in their brain that they should just "change" their serotonin level with willpower? How do you have the gumption to assume the role of arbiter of happiness, and tell people that they should just "cope" with being morbidly unhappy and suicidal when proven treatments exist to make them happier? If you see someone with a broken leg, do you tell them they should just "cope" rather than spending mucho dinero on "doctors?"

Sorry for being overly dramatic, but what if a depressed reader of your post wound up killing himself because he took your advice rather than getting the professional help that could have saved him?

Take any advice you get from a psych grad student with a severely hefty grain of salt, people, as the psychologists are, after all, definitely wanting to keep revenue coming in to their profession.
So should I take everything my family doctor says with a similar "hefty grain of salt?" When my doctor diagnoses me with cancer should I reply, "Nah, I don't believe you. You're just trying to keep the revenue coming in."?

Out of curiosity, do you feel that homosexual people should just "change" by way of willpower?

[ Parent ]

I dunno. (none / 0) (#42)
by Spatula on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 09:02:37 AM EST

You have made some excellent points that I have no real answer for, as I am not a clinical or experimental psychologist. However, I believe you missed my caveat. Take what I am saying with a hefty grain of salt, too. Just 'cuz I posted to k5 doesn't mean that I know what the fuck I'm talking about. Of *course* I can be wrong.

Sorry for being overly dramatic, but what if a depressed reader of your post wound up killing himself because he took your advice rather than getting the professional help that could have saved him?

I sound like a cold-ass motherfucker here, but too bad. If anyone was intensely stupid enough to take the advice of *one* post to a relatively low traffic news and discussion site seriously and had the impulse to act upon that advice, that person obviously had very, very deep problems, and it's not my place to judge their method of exit. Too bad. That sucks. End of my stress.

Out of curiosity, do you feel that homosexual people should just "change" by way of willpower?

Oh, whatever. This isn't Godwin's Law, but close. Two questions:

    • Where the fuck did this non-sequitur come from? There was no mention in my original post about homosexuality.
      Did you possibly think that this snide aside (cool! alliteration!) would get you the 5 you so rightly deserve? You, sir or madam, have earned a glorious 1 from me, mainly because you have introduced something not even included in the first posting, but also because you are attempting to make me appear to be anti-homosexual.

    Now I shall address the remainder of your comment. I made it clear in my original post that I was not including clinical depression, which, I believe, includes chemical inbalances. If it does not, I apologize and wish to be corrected on my lack of acumen (another alliteration!) regarding medical terminology. Clinical depression is a Very Bad ThingTM and it *must* be treated correctly and swiftly. I was talking about those few months every now and then that nearly everyone goes through. The bills are behind. The spouse/significant other is somehow unresponsive. The children are being recalcitrant. The job is annoying and frustrating. Whatever else one can imagine. Yes, those are *depressing* times. However, far too many people equate short term frustration, anxiety, self-loathing, itd. as 'depression', and that's a misnomer. If, of course, the 'down period' lasts too long, one should definitely seek professional help. For instance, I just recently (as of two days ago) came out of a 4 month long down period, based mainly on anxiety regarding my relationship with my significant other. Yes, I was depressed. Yes, it was scary at times. I'm now over it, thanks in part to Tool, who, in Schism, say "Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion...". I was able to, through communication, get myself out of my emotional rut. I know that there are some people out there that can't, physically, do such. To those people, I advise (once again, I'm not a professional) to seek professional help.

    I was, however, out of line in saying that psychologists are "definitely wanting to keep revenue coming in to their profession." That was not a good thing to type, and I apologize once again. I should have typed that "psychologists are more often than not trying, even to their ending days, to figure out which side of the desk they truly belong on", thus ending a sentence with a preposition and offending even more readers of kuro5hin.
    --
    someday I'll find something to put here.
    [ Parent ]

  • I know. (none / 0) (#44)
    by srichman on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:28:52 AM EST

    However, I believe you missed my caveat. Take what I am saying with a hefty grain of salt, too. Just 'cuz I posted to k5 doesn't mean that I know what the fuck I'm talking about. Of *course* I can be wrong.
    I definitely read your caveat. What is your point? Say I post the following comment:
    I'm no math expert, so take this with a grain of salt, but I'm pretty sure that 1+1=3.
    By disclaiming expertise, do I obviate replies pointing out errors in my post? Obviously not. If someone else replied with a proof that showed 1+1=2, score one for edification.

    This is an enjoyable discussion forum because it's a home for intellectual discourse: someone makes a point, some else disagrees and picks that point apart, the original poster offers a counter argument, and so on. You say something, I disagree, you defend your point. That's the way it works. What's the fucking point of posting something inane and then hiding behind "Just 'cuz I posted to k5 doesn't mean that I know what the fuck I'm talking about." I never assumed you were an expert in psychology; I posted counterpoints and trenchant questions because it was part of an argument, because I was curious to see your responses. If you're just posting random inanities that provoke responses from fellow k5'ers without having any intention of defending yourself, then you are a troll and are wasting our bandwidth.

    Did you possibly think that this snide aside (cool! alliteration!) would get you the 5 you so rightly deserve?
    Yes, it was a calculated plot; I'm destroyed that you saw through it. I actually have an expansive collection of stock questions/points like that that I slip in to get high comment ratings on Kuro5hin. I'm a sad, lonely person, and my happiness hangs on the little numbers next to my comments on the computer screen.

    You, sir or madam, have earned a glorious 1 from me, mainly because you have introduced something not even included in the first posting, but also because you are attempting to make me appear to be anti-homosexual.
    Well, shucks, now I'm going to kill myself. But you should note that I never claimed it was something you said (I put things that you say in italicized blockquotes or in quotation marks); rather, it was a rhetorical point of my introduction. I don't see how you can disclaim rhetorical expertise, what with your fascination with alliteration (a rhyme!), but I'll explain what I was doing in case it isn't clear:

    You argued that depression, though considered by many to be a physical condition, is in fact something that is merely in people's heads, and is largely under their control; "depressed" people, you stated, should "change" by force of will. This argument is highly analogous to the claim that homosexuality, though considered by many to be a physical condition, is in fact something that is merely in people's heads, and is largely under their control; gay people should "change" by force of will. I wasn't insinuating or assuming that you were homophobic. Quite the contrary; I was assuming you were a politically correct person, and would take offense at the argument that homosexuality can be willed away, and would see (or at least understand my opinion) that your analogous argument is similarly egregious.

    [ Parent ]

    OT: alliteration (none / 0) (#45)
    by crayz on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 01:38:06 PM EST

    Wouldn't "lack of acumen" be assonance not alliteration?(if my HS english courses were worth a damn)

    [ Parent ]
    Both (none / 0) (#47)
    by srichman on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:12:57 PM EST

    Wouldn't "lack of acumen" be assonance not alliteration?
    Actually, both.

    alliteration
    The repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables...
    Here, the "ack" sounds are definitely both in stressed syllables, so it's alliteration.

    I always thought assonance only applied to vowel sounds (so, in this case, it could appropriately be applied to the a's), but one of the dictionary definitions has:

    assonance
    Resemblance of sound, especially of the vowel sounds in words, as in: "that dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea" (William Butler Yeats).
    So even though assonance is "especially" for vowel sounds, it can actually apply to the whole "ack" sound too. The definition of assonance that most people are familiar with (and, methinks, is the more literary version) is:
    assonance
    The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds, especially in stressed syllables, with changes in the intervening consonants, as in the phrase tilting at windmills.


    [ Parent ]
    Cognitive Therapy (none / 0) (#52)
    by jugglhed on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 06:22:24 PM EST

    Actually it's been found that cognitive therapy tends to work better for depressives than 'let's go over all your past traumas and failures' therapy (I don't know the technical name for it).

    Cognitive therapy tries to get the person to identify negative thinking patterns and to recognize them for what they are. So if you often say things like 'oh crap, there's a bug in my code, I'm stupid and deserve to die', you will learn to recognize this as blowing things out of proportion and see the situation in a more rational way.

    It sounds pretty simple, maybe obvious, but for a person who is in fact depressed, it isn't as simple as 'looking on the bright side of life'. Some people need help and sometimes cognitive therapy works, but sometimes chemical help is also needed.

    If you're miserable and hate life, it's definitely worth your trouble to seek help if you need it.


    [ Parent ]
    What cost, recovery ? (4.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Lupo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 11:34:04 AM EST

    I've not been clinically diagnosed as having anything wrong with me. My one trip to a doctor in an attempt to deal with my problem lead to him telling me "There is nothing wrong. It's just the way you approach life. Be more positive."

    My mother was clinically depressed. In the end after many cries for help, she eventually committed suicide. This was partly my fault for not being the help she was asking for, but that's a whole other story.

    From what I've read, from what my mom's symptoms and diagnosis and my symptoms are, I believe that I am a manic-depressive.

    They say that recognising the problem is the first step to curing it. But I'm not sure what the cost of the cure would be. As a result of my mood swings, which have been quite violent on occasion in the past (but which I've learnt to keep this tendancy in check in the last 3 or so years), I don't have too many people around. Moving continents didn't help that at all. As a result of this, I throw myself into my work.

    I do very good work. All of my employers have always been very happy with my work, and I've been promoted through the ranks quite fast. I put a lot of this down to my intense focus and drive. If I received treatment for my depression, how would this affect me? My obsession with perfection is what keeps me employed. It might also be what is destroying my marriage. If I got treated and I gained a more balanced outlook on life, would I be able to keep producing the quality of work that I do now at the speed that I do now ?

    I need my job. I have bills to pay. If the cost of being treated is losing this focus and as a result my job, then the cost is too high!


    -- Wayne Pascoe I'm only in this job until an opening comes up in the fast food business...
    You are at risk (4.00 / 3) (#30)
    by maveness on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:57:45 PM EST

    My mother was clinically depressed. In the end after many cries for help, she eventually committed suicide. This was partly my fault for not being the help she was asking for, but that's a whole other story.

    One person's suicide is NEVER another person's fault. If nothing else, you should consider seeking therapy to get out from under the large burden of guilt you are carrying.

    A family history of depression and/or suicide is one of the leading risk indicators for depression and/or suicide. I hope you will seek and find a competent, compassionate, and well-informed therapist -- they do exist, but you may have to shop around. Please don't let cost be your main consideration... your life and health are extremely valuable, and worthy of a significant investment.

    The fact that you believe only your obsessive search for perfection is what keeps you employed is evidence of a distorted self-image. You also identify difficulty in establishing and maintaining relationships. The proper help can and should help you to establish more balance and more _joy_ in your life.

    Good luck, and I wish you the best.

    *********
    Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.
    [ Parent ]

    Blame (none / 0) (#41)
    by Lupo on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:17:53 AM EST

    One person's suicide is NEVER another person's fault. If nothing else, you should consider seeking therapy to get out from under the large burden of guilt you are carrying.

    I wanted to believe that. Especially at the time when it happened (two years ago). But in retrospect, everyone in my family carries some of the blame. My mother included. If we had been more of a family and been there for her, she would have been around today. I truly believe this.

    The fact that you believe only your obsessive search for perfection is what keeps you employed is evidence of a distorted self-image. You also identify difficulty in establishing and maintaining relationships. The proper help can and should help you to establish more balance and more _joy_ in your life.

    How else can I explain the fact that I'm still employed? I give good results when everyone else has given up and gone home. We've been through two rounds of layoffs, and many of those who were let go were of more immediate value to the company. My value is only apparent in crunch times. Yet I'm still here. Many of the people let go have still not found work :(

    Good luck, and I wish you the best.

    Thank you. :)



    -- Wayne Pascoe I'm only in this job until an opening comes up in the fast food business...
    [ Parent ]
    Cure is not too expensive... (4.00 / 1) (#32)
    by relayswitch on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:57:53 PM EST

    OK, kinda expensive, but the right health insurance can make treatement feasable.

    My ex-girlfriend was recently diagnosed as manic-depressive and after Prozac failed her (it's good for depression, but BAD for manic depressives), her psychiatris put her on Depakote- it's an anticonvulsant, and worked WONDERS. With her insurance, the perscription was $25 for a three month supply. With my insurance, it would have been $5. She goes to therapy three times a week, for a $25 copay (my copay is $10)

    So, if you have any kind of health benefits, you should check with your insurance company. Help's not only available, most of them are BEGGING you to come in to work on your head. My employer even has a 24-hour mental heath hotline, staffed with councilors and psychiatrists in case you get the screaming heebie jeebies at 3AM (I do).

    Hope you find what you need,
    Relay

    [ Parent ]
    Not cash cost, future total cost (none / 0) (#40)
    by Lupo on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:12:58 AM EST

    When I asked about the cost, I don't mean the treatment. I live in the UK and have private health, so I figure treatment won't be too bad.

    My concern is total cost down the line. Will I lose my focus? Will I be able to preform at work like I do now?

    Or will a balanced outlook on life lead to me not working so hard, and not staying employed ?


    -- Wayne Pascoe I'm only in this job until an opening comes up in the fast food business...
    [ Parent ]
    Total Cost (none / 0) (#48)
    by maveness on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:22:07 PM EST

    Or will a balanced outlook on life lead to me not working so hard, and not staying employed ?

    Being healthy will not decrease the likelihood of you knowing and doing what you need to do in order to maintain your livelihood. It WILL give you a broader perspective, and help you make rational, freer choices about your priorities. If, as you've indicated, your intensive work schedule is what is keeping you employed at the present time -- and you determine that right now you can't afford to jeapordize that.... well then, you won't!

    But you may also find ways to increase the quality of time you invest in other areas of your life as well.

    *********
    Latest fortune cookie: "The current year will bring you much happiness." As if.
    [ Parent ]

    Can be very expensive; undercovered by insurance (none / 0) (#49)
    by jjayson on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 03:00:40 PM EST

    Only on Depakote? Most bipolar-1 people I know (myself included) are on a mix of drugs, dosages changing thoughout their manic and depressive cycles. I have been on many different drugs and some helped and some hurt (I was arrested last time somebody prescribed Prozac for me; it just made my then current manic state worse). I do think that Depakote has helped me, but the most effective drug that I have been on, and still am, is Zyprexa. We really, really, *really* like it. Within 2 days people say a large difference in me.

    I am currently on: Depakote -- 3/day @ $2.00/ea = $180/month
    Wellbutrin -- 2/day @ $3.50/ea = $210/month
    Zyprexa -- 2/day @ $12.00/ea = $720/month
    totaling $1110.00/month

    This does not include my weekly psychiatry sessions. While working, on Blue Shield PPO, my co-pay was $5 to $10 every three weeks for each prescription. However, they would only pay for 24 sessions per year and only up to $40 per visit, while each visit cost $150. Now that I am not working and not covered any longer, this call comes out of pocket (I lost my job during my last manic cycle 10 months ago). Basically, this is a required cost. If I do not pay, I will at some point be hospitalized, like I have been in the past. It sucks. Medical insurance carriers suck, too.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    St John's Wort (none / 0) (#54)
    by Lol 4882 on Tue Oct 16, 2001 at 07:56:48 PM EST

    ... is a natural over the counter medecine that contains a precusor to serotonin, which you should try (not to be taken with meals, as protein will block serotonin entry in the brain) on the box it will say "mood enhancer" but that's for non-depressed brains, for a manic-depressive just see it as a nutritional aid, giving your brain the neurotransmitter it somehow does not have enough of, you'll then realise how easy things are for the rest of us may reduce your sex drive a bit, adjust your intake down. safe-ish (od'ing on it would mostly make you sick) and low cost very few of the doctors you are likely to meet will have experienced any of this pain first-hand anyway, read up on the subject in your manic phases (which you say you have) and you'll soon know almost as much as they do hope this helps

    [ Parent ]
    Umm? (3.00 / 2) (#31)
    by hedgefrog on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:53:43 PM EST

    If you live in the U.S. and have access to a web browser

    How exactly am I reading this without a web browser?
    slashdot is to linux what osama bin laden is to islam - a pimple on the arse - Eviltwin

    Dumbass (1.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Desterado on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:47:25 PM EST

    If you dont live in the US it's not free AKA not screening day. God you need to be smacked for your idiotic attempt to be funny.

    You've got the flag, I've got your back.
    [ Parent ]
    I must be a real dumbass (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by hedgefrog on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 10:15:07 AM EST

    because I still don't understand how I could be reading the story without a web browser. Please enlighten me.
    slashdot is to linux what osama bin laden is to islam - a pimple on the arse - Eviltwin
    [ Parent ]
    perhaps a general announcment (none / 0) (#50)
    by 31: on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:09:13 PM EST

    so you could spread the word to a wider audience than just the web site reading group. The artical has a press-release sound to it, and for other forums, it might be appropriate.

    but i will grant the point that it would be... difficult to read this without a browser.

    -Patrick
    [ Parent ]
    A better idea (none / 0) (#46)
    by Scrutinizer on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:07:45 PM EST

    Would be "National Psycho Killer Screening Day"

    Then the nation's shrinks would have something worth worrying about.

    "Oh, Miss Thompson, could you show in the next potential mass murderer, please?..."

    Call me a cynic, but (none / 0) (#51)
    by stewartj76 on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 04:05:19 PM EST

    any "day" sponsored by the same people who stand to profit from it seems a little suspicious to me. Let me guess, I'm depressed. I need extensive psyciatric help and lots of medication. What a surprise.

    Now I'm not totally making light of depression as a disease (unlike, say ADD) or psychiatry. I am sure many people have been helped by them. However this sounds like just the APA trying to drum up some new business while simultaneously appearing sincere.

    My Web Page on Manic Depression (none / 0) (#53)
    by GoingWare on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:13:37 PM EST

    I am manic depressive. More precisely, I have schizoaffective disorder, which is sort of like having a combination of manic depression and schizophrenia, but in me the bipolar symptoms dominate.

    This is a serious illness that can make your life a living hell and even cause it to end in suicide. It's definitely worth seeking treatment for it, while the treatments don't work for everyone there are now a couple dozen medications each that either prevent manic episodes (mood stabilizers) or relieve depression (antidepressants).

    A few years ago I wrote a web page about it here:

    It wasn't easy to write the web page or publish it publicly. For many years I was ashamed of my illness and worked hard to hide it from all but a few of my closest friends. I was feeling the stigma of mental illness, and eventually I decided that stigma or no, for those of us who are mentally ill to live as full citizens as society I must work to educate others about the illness.

    In general I've had very good response to the page - if you want to write me to discuss your illness or learn more about it, feel free to write me at michael@geometricvisions.com (crawford@goingware.com is my business address - I use geometricvisions for my personal homepage now)


    I am the K5 user now known as MichaelCrawford. I am not my corporation.


    National Depression Screening Day | 54 comments (53 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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