Is depression really treatable?

  1. I have a serious question to ask. Is depression really treatable? I ask because I think I might to really see someone. It has really gotten worse over the years.
    However, my friend went to see someone and she is on a cocktail of meds, and when they are switched, she becomes really erratic. I just don't want to end up taken a bunch of medication that might effect me in another way. But I do believe I reallly do need help-badly.
  2. jcsd
  3. cristo

    cristo 8,387
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    Firstly, if you are feeling depressed, then it is good to talk to someone; either a close friend, or a family member, or anyone else you can trust. If you have been feeling this way for a while, then it would be a good idea for you to go and see your doctor. They do not have to give you drugs, but will talk to you, and give you advice, or be able to make you an appointment with someone who is qualified to help you.

    The most important thing to remember is that depression is a common thing, and happens for many reasons. Normally, if someone can help you find out why you are feeling like this, then it will be a huge step on the road to "recovery." Go and seek some professional help. Depression is definitely treatable, and does not, in all cases, require drugs.
  4. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,635
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    Depression is treatable, and it doesn't always involve meds. Many people are able to get control over it with cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example. But, yes, see someone if you can and discuss the different options.
  5. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
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    First, I agree entirely with what MIH stated above. In addition, to address your more specific concerns regarding your friend's experiences with anti-depressants, there is no easy way to determine what is the cause of someone's depression if it is a biological reason, so sometimes doctors have to try several medications before they find the right one for someone. And, yes, some people can act very "erratic" when first taking a new medication, when prescribed the incorrect medication, or when switching medications. Discuss those concerns with the doctor you see about it. I don't know how many people you are comfortable sharing this with, but if you do start taking medications, it will be good to have at least one close friend or family member who knows you are taking the medication and who can help you watch for any unusual symptoms/side-effects, that way you're 1) not going through it alone, and 2) have a safety back-up in case you don't recognize your own erratic behavior so they can get you back to a doctor to adjust doses or medications appropriately.

    The fact that you are here telling us you need help badly is enough reason to suggest you should follow your instinct and see a doctor about it.

    Sometimes other illnesses can affect mood too, and that's another good reason to see a doctor about it. There may be some other treatable illness that is affecting your mood that won't require antidepressants at all.
  6. hey winzer, I know how it can suck and it can be fixed without medication.

    If it's so bad that you can't deal with it by yourself, I would say find a good therapist. Therapy has been shown to be more effective than medication on the long run (depending on the nature of your depression, of course. but a therapist will tell you if therapy is not enough in your case, and will refer you to medicine if necessary).

    if you don't want to end up unnecessarily drugged up, which is sadly the norm now a days, just be wary of "assembly line" psychiatrists: ones who ask you 25 questions and immediately recommend medication. a responsible professional will try and find the nature of your problem before assessing whether medication is needed or not.

    and "shop around," look for someone who you feel comfortable with. just like you would for a family doctor or a mechanic; don't trust your head to the first person that comes along. ... if $$ is a problem, I don't know where you live, but find out if there are free social services and such.
  7. I agree, I probably need to see someone, I am not one for going to the docter, but I will try. I also worry about this disorder called Asperger syndrome, I have read into it and the descriptions totally seem to match me, does anyone here have this disorder?
  8. The important thing is that you don't ignore the problem and that you learn where it's coming from.
    Do you have an idea of why you are depressed (is there an event or situation that is actually causing this, or do you feel depressed and don't know why)? this is the kind of questions you need to already be thinking about.

    I don't know if this is true or a myth, but I've heard that asperger's is common among scientists, philosophers, and artists. ... do you tent to have social anxiety or something like that? ...

    lol sorry it's non of my business. my parents are shrinks and their mannerisms rub off on me sometimes.. growing up with two psychologists constantly analizing your every word— that's something that can really drive a person to insanity :surprised .
  9. Sometimes I get depressed just by seeing world for what it really is and its elements of greed, disception, etc. Actually most of the time I get depressed just because; I can't put my finger on it, but I will get super depressed, see people all around me whom are happy, then get more depressed.

    I have had social anxiety and awkwardness my whole life.
  10. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree with Moonbear and MIH - 1. depression is treatable, 2. and it does not necessarily require medication, but sometimes medication is helpful to get out of a depression. Something like a SSRI - selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor - e.g. Paxil (paroxetine) might be useful. However - one must see a doctor and get a proper evaluation.

    If one is chronically depressed, then one should visit a doctor/psychiatrist. Therapy/counseling is useful.

    Stay away from alcohol and other drugs which will exacerbate the depression. A good diet, some amount of physical exercise, and consistent/regular sleep patterns can mitigate depression.

    That certainly implies Asperger's or some form of high-functioning autism. But that is not necessarily something to worry about.

    I have Asperger's and ADD/ADHD, but managed to compensate over the years - probably with caffeine before I was a teenager. I probably had some social anxiety, but overcame it, particularly because I am curious about human behavior.

    Aspergers's probably also allows me to focus on particularly challenging engineering/technical problems, which are sometimes elusive to others.

    The world is what it is. Learn not to dwell on the negative. There are many good people out there who are not greedy, but rather quite generous or charitable - seek those people out.

    For more information -
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  11. does anyone else notice when you sit alone all day reading books or on the computer you slowly fall into a state of depression, especially when it's something like continuous studying. after so many months you start to get lonely. i think your mind needs more stimulation than what you can find in a house after six months, the only problem is you can't find anyone to relate to, yes there are people close but no one to talk to if you know what i mean. i remember reading a line written by a programmer talking about it being a lonely life and how it all changed after he met his wife. i do understand what he ment, trying to get somewhere doing something like that becomes hard on you mentally if your not getting frequent human interaction. i say put down what your doing and get away for weeks at a time with some other people. myself i use this forum as an outlet, kinda like a coffee shop. one thing about this forum is that the people who are here want to be here and don't come for the coffee. if your bored you can always start an argument.
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  12. radou

    radou 3,108
    Homework Helper

    Sounds familiar.

    I managed to develop a *habit* of not going out and socializing with my friends. I was simply going through a phase of disappointment, and frankly, I did have better things to do in my life. But during that time, it kind of "grew into" me, and I developed a huge amount of unnecessary unsecurity and fear/anxiety about trivial things, such as simply going out and having a few beers. Now it's getting better, since I perceived it, analyzed it, and decided to change it.

    The point is - one needs to move, and I'm referring to the most general meaning of that verb.
  13. Reading books and learning actually gets me out of depression. The biggest pleasures in my life are art, science, and :bugeye: .

    I wonder why social anxiety is common among people who are into science... maybe it's because of the nature to over-think and doubt everything, even ourselves.
    I spent about 2 years of my life without a single friend; I became literally terrified of approaching people. then I finally said "f**k it," worst that can happen is they think I'm a weirdo or don't like me.
    I have plenty of friends now, but I still get that old depressive pattern of thought sometimes... like before I go to a party or something, on the way there I sometimes feel physically ill like I could almost throw up... but I go there and first thing I do is force myself to open a conversation with someone I've never met before. I'm not gonna say I don't still get anxious now and then, but now I know that it's all in my head and that people like me if a loosen up and stop worrying.

    to light_bulb, if your social anxiety is so bad. all I can say is get out of your comfort zone. go to a local show and try starting a conversation with random people about the band. ask the prettiest girl you see walking down the street for directions. just random things like that can be hard as hell, but the more you do it the more you realize there's no reason to be anxious about it. at least that's what worked for me.

    I agree with everything you said, only difference is I would reverse the order of that and say try therapy/counseling before medicine.— :rofl: is it obvious that I'm not too fond of medication?... I'm no Tom Cruise, there are times when it's needed, but I think people are way too over-medicated in most cases.

    and that's so true about exercise, no one else mentioned it. it sounds too simple to be true, but exercise really helps depression. I feel that since I've started doing weights, not only do I get that rush after I'm done, but also overall I feel healthier and better about myself. It also increases blood-flow and the flow of oxygen so it might even help you with studying and concentrating because you're thinking more clearly.

    example of when medication is definitely needed:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
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    Everyone needs some social interaction, though how much varies with each different personality. Another aspect of that is the lethargy of just sitting still all day long and not getting any exercise. I think that some cases of depression (not all by a long-shot) are due simply to inactivity. I can feel that happen to myself sometimes. Just getting out and doing something active can really get my mood elevated when I've been sitting at a desk too long. It doesn't have to be anything excesive, just a good bout of housekeeping, or a walk around the mall, or a brisk walk around the block. On the days when I'm not out at the farm working, I make sure I take a good walk at lunchtime (even if it's just to the hospital cafeteria). If it's nice outside, I walk outside, otherwise, I walk around the building I work in and take the stairs every chance I get.

    If you can actually pinpoint the source of the depression to something simple like that, it's very easy to fix it by just changing your habits.
  15. your both right, i'm going to take my own and your advice, get off the computer for a while and get out more, that should also help me bring back the focus on keeping up with studying instead of chating it up on the computer, see you in 3 months. :frown:
  16. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,483
    Gold Member

    I'm not a doctor nor do I have a stitch of biology under my belt, so I'm sure my opinion lacks a certain degree of rationale, but I'm completely opposed to medication.

    The people I've seen go onto medication have turned into zombies. They were actually people before, even if they were a bit off, they still had ideas and thought for themselves. Now they're like cows, moping around inside their fence, waiting to be butchered. They don't eat anymore, they graze.

    It's worse when they become dependent on medication, then somehow stop taking it and go completely overboard, as if making up for all that time they spent ridiculously sane.
  17. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
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    For depression? That doesn't sound right at all. Usually, when people are on anti-depressants, most people don't even know it because the medication is working and making them seem totally normal instead of mopey and withdrawn. Sounds like they're on the wrong medication and/or it's not working. I'm not sure what it would do to someone who didn't need medication. Perhaps that's what's happening...people got prescribed medication for something that didn't require medicating.
  18. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,483
    Gold Member

    No, it wasn't depression particularly. Of the three med friends I've had, only one had depressoin, and she was taking like six other meds too. She gained a lot of weight too, because of something with her hunger gland (forgot the name of it).
  19. Ironically, some antidepressants have been linked to suicide :confused: , not only that, but on many cases a placebo was just as effective. I can't remember the studies, I'll ask my mom for them some other time.
    Medication is useful when there is a chemical imbalance, (therapy has been shown to fix imbalances too though— and the term "chemical imbalance" is a bit overused and not all that clear) or if the person is very out of control to the point where they can't be reasoned with... but with most depressions, ADD, OCD, and so on, medication is not the only (or best) solution.

    that's good but why the frown! :biggrin:
    I'm off to a BBQ right now and it's nothing to frown about! ... unless it keeps raining ugh.
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  20. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,483
    Gold Member

  21. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor


    At work, I take time out from work and go for a walk, usually down to the river. A friend and colleague joined my company about 6 weeks ago. We worked together for many years at another company - the one I left 9 years ago. We used to go for walks at lunchtime, and now that he has joined me again, we go out and roam the area at lunchtime.
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