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What is a mental illness? e.g. Depression? watch

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    Just want to see people's view points on mental illnesses such as Depression.

    I haven't personally been through depression myself but both my parents have and they have very different circumstances. So I'm just trying to understand it.

    I just wanted to know what happens to your mind when you are depressed?
    Do you really have control over your own thoughts? How powerful is your mind? How can it make you think so much into believing that suicide is the only option you have? Or maybe not the only option but an 'easy' way to stop the thoughts which lead to the painful feelings?

    Is having depression (or any mental illness) really as bad as a physical illness? How do people know what is 'normal' thinking and 'abnormal' thinking? Is it just societies perception of what is considered 'normal' and 'abnormal'?

    Does medication for depression really work (scientifically) or is it like a placebo effect? My mum is addicted to her medication and knows how bad she will get if she stops taking it. The doctors said she will be off medication within the next 2 years but she really believes that it's not possible. Can medication effect your mental illness more by making you think you need it, like an addiction? Or is it actually your body's response the the medication?


    Sorry I'm just up late having some deep thoughts about life and about my parents. Thanks for any responses and don't feel like you need to answer all the questions. I was just typing them as they came to my head.
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    While the causes of depression can vary, treatment does work for the most part. In many cases however, it is not permanent and so a lifestyle change is needed to effectively overcome the depression.

    Depression is more often than not, a physical issue with the brain, either through dysfunction of particular hormone pathways, or other issues in brain function.

    Your mind is your mind, whether it is depressed on not. Some may wish to see depression as masking their 'real' self, but that is a matter of perspective Otherwise, depression is simply a change in the way your brain (and hence your mind) works.

    The main significant difference between an abnormal depressed mind and a normal mind, is that the depression is causing a negative effect on their lives. Being upset is normal, but when it causes serious problems for the persons livelihood, then it becomes clinical. Some may find this easier to overcome than others.

    Depression does not always lead to suicide, and in many cases suicide is not considered an option (though the thoughts still remain). Ultimately it varies from person to person as the causes are different, leading to different changes and therefore different types of depression.
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    Thomas Szasz has an interesting book titled 'The Myth of Mental Illness' which addresses this issue. You should check it out.
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    But, there is not definition to "depression" exactly, for example, you could be particularly pessimistic but wouldn't be classified as depressed, there are no clear boundaries, if you think you're depressed, you probably would act more depressed, but if you are depressed but you don't think it yourself then you wouldn't be much different, it's similar to the "if you don't think you're lying then it won't show up on the lie detector" theory


    jojotheflower, meow, over and out
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    There can be physical or chemical imbalances on the brain that can contribute to depression.

    But, aside from that, I firmly believe that the term 'mental illness' is often a convenient bracket that society uses either because it doesn't fully understand human psychology or because it would not be particularly convenient or beneficial for it to do so.

    People of all levels of happiness can be utterly stubborn. They have resentments working against them - they want better friends, a better education, more money, a nicer house, a nicer car, more holidays.

    Do you think that most such people allow any significant part of their brain to really want to and try to help those who are floundering in agony - not just so-called 'irrational' emotional agony but intellectual agony about their situation? No - their ego gets in the way. 'They don't look much worse off than me!' 'They're much younger than me so what have they got to be depressed about?'
    'They appear to have nothing that I want so why should I befriend and try to understand them?'

    Mental illness , as we define it, is a natural consequence of the individual struggling against pressures that appear to hinder rather than help them. Whether that's a very bright person who starts to suffer mentally because of people consciously or subconsciously taking advantage of their good natured 'soft' appearance or someone who was never given significant parenting and educational opportunities and who is at the mercy of the majority who will, of course, generally prefer to feel superior to them than try to right that early wrong to see how much they can actually blossom with the right attention. We are all flowers. If not, we may be weeds.
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    I have depression and anxiety. I'll come back to this thread.
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    This video from the WHO explains it pretty well:

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    Your very own personal hell in the middle of your head.
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    Depression, in my experience:

    Nothing seems to make you happy. There doesn't seem to be anything you can do about it. Eating is far more effort than it's worth, and staying healthy is pointless. Nothing tastes nice. You hang out with your friends in attempt to be happier, but you're not in as high spirits as usual around them, and you feel bad because you're bringing them down with you. You can't form new relationships or friendships because of it. You feel bad about this, and consequently, it snowballs. So you isolate yourself. You become lonely. You don't bother making any effort with anything because you feel that ultimately, none of it is going to make life any better. You start to wonder what the point in anything is. Why am I here? Why am I still bothering with any of this? At which point you (hopefully) get help.
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    (Original post by Guitarded)
    Depression, in my experience:

    Nothing seems to make you happy. There doesn't seem to be anything you can do about it. Eating is far more effort than it's worth, and staying healthy is pointless. Nothing tastes nice. You hang out with your friends in attempt to be happier, but you're not in as high spirits as usual around them, and you feel bad because you're bringing them down with you. You can't form new relationships or friendships because of it. You feel bad about this, and consequently, it snowballs. So you isolate yourself. You become lonely. You don't bother making any effort with anything because you feel that ultimately, none of it is going to make life any better. You start to wonder what the point in anything is. Why am I here? Why am I still bothering with any of this? At which point you (hopefully) get help.
    This. More or less.

    It really all depends on the underlying aetiology of the depression. In my case, I felt as though continuing in life with such psychological damage was irresponsible and I'd only be here to endure whatever creative agonies life could throw at me. I'd come home from each day and feel so drained; there were a few people who made me truly feel as though life wasn't worth all the hassle. So I'd stay in my room and try to sleep as much as possible. I wouldn't do anything or make any plans and all I really wanted was to either remove myself from being, or violently murder certain people.

    The sounds kind of funny, but it was kind of touch and go for a little while. I had recurrent fantasies about caving a few people's skulls in, but I become disgusted with this imagery and eventually realised I was more or less at the bottom of the well.

    I seen a counsellor, took Prozac and Valium for several months and... Here I am. I still get the odd flare up where I don't feel so good, but these days I'm so busy that I just focus on whatever task is at hand and it goes away.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Slightly amusing thing is: I hate Olly Murs. Someone I cared about, a lot, absolutely loved him and whenever I hear anything of his on the radio it sets me off; I just want to go wallow in a never-ending spiral of self-pity and inept rage. I work in a laboratory, and more than a few times I've had to suddenly step out to visit the toilet. I just splash some water on my face and tell myself that I'll focus on something else. Coming from someone who didn't feel as though I would ever be able to get over it, melodramatic as it may seem, this is quite a big development .
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    Mental illness is an unfortunate product of a person's development. It's too broad a subject to specify just one answer. It could be genetics, disease or neglect. The human mind is just so complicated. If you need an answer then you can pin it down to how we process information. I.e. Depression. Something happens, you process what happens and the result is either happy or sad. Your mental coping mechanism will play a big part. Can you share the result with another person?
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    I suppose its really difficult to relate with peoples experience if you've never really experience distress yourself. A mental health disorder is marked by a lack of functioning. So this could be missing school or lectures, not going into work. Depression isn't just feeling sad, its feeling nothing or feeling like your physically in pain, or carrying a burden by yourself. I suffer from depression and the main thought I have when I feel like this is 'what is the point', I think that I know your day is going to be awful so why bother and its really hard to get into your mind when you think that day in, day out, that it could be any different.

    Do you really have control over your own thoughts?
    Well do you? Take the example of getting a poor mark in an exam, you might be really upset or annoyed with yourself initially, how much control do you feel you have in that situation think about different contexts. For most people it depends whether that is a sensitive subject, had experiences that have been awful in the past that trigger all that emotion when something similar happens again. You might reason with yourself about why your felt like that and its not a reflection of you as a person or your ability, the way someone thinks about something isn't 'abnormal' or 'normal' is a reflection on your experiences, the way you feel. They might be irrational, illogical, or frightening to someone else but don't try to think of these things as abnormal. Because what the hell is normal? I know its challenging, a lot of my job is trying to figure out this stuff and its great that you want understand what you're parents are going through and support them.

    How can it make you think so much into believing that suicide is the only option you have?
    Suicidal thoughts are something that a lot of people struggle with, My dad suffers with bipolar disorder and he has tried to take his life many times and I used to think that he was being so selfish. But it wasn't until I felt suicidal (depression) that I understood that he was in a dark and desperate place. Where he thought the only way out of the distress was to die and that people around him would be better off. Recovery is hard work and sometimes is easier to fall further down than look up and think about the mountain you have to climb.

    Does medication for depression really work (scientifically) or is it like a placebo effect?
    Medication wouldn't pass clinical trials if the data didn't state that it improved peoples mental state. However most drugs for mental illness work on backward reasoning, to keep it simple, professionals give it and if it makes a difference they carry on giving it. However science doesnt know enough about the brain to know how the drugs work. There is an evidence to hypothesise things and if that wasnt robust, people wouldnt be taking it but its a lottery.

    Most psychatric medication (apart from benzos) aren't addictive like heroin and cigarettes. What it is is that your mum's body is used to a certain level of neurotransmitter whizzing around her brain while she's on the medication and when she comes off it, those levels decrease and 'symptoms' reappear. The challenge is having enough social and psychological intervention to be able to support that massive step. Your mother's problem can be psychological, saying to herself 'I need the medication to be able to cope'. Buts its be able to say well what do you have in place instead of medication, that can be as simple as going for a bath or a walk, spending time with you etc.

    I hope this helps. If you need someone to talk to pm!
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    Its ignorance basically..


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    Darthgirlie, I totally agree with what you have to say about depression in fact you've done a brilliant job in your description (from my point of view) I'm bipolar and a rapid cycler so I have many first hand experiences of what it's like to be depressed. I read somewhere that anti-depressants only work with about 17% of people which itself is a depressing picture! My own experience of anti- depressants is that they make fairly little if any difference and I have taken a wide range of the 'little devils' including the ubiquitous Prozac. The worst side of antidepressants is getting off them. They're not additive in the true sense ie chemically but they are emotionally addictive especially when they're the only source of support you've got (or you think you've got). My wife often reminds me that she thinks that my illness (being bipolar) meets my perceived needs at this point in time. Being depressed can be like being tired of life and needing a break from all of its responsibilities and depression provides that 'excuse' very effectively. The trick is to accept that is where you are, have the 'rest' and at the 'right' time (you will know when that is) get back into life and 'live' again. This is very tough on those we live with and it is their perceived demands which heavily contribute to the guilt and anguish that the depressed person feels and prevents them being compassionate towards him/herself. A depressed person desperately needs to know and be constantly reminded that he/she is loved. This is so tough for the supporting family. Love is very powerful and true unconditional love is very rare...


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    There is no real definition, it used to be thought of as a simple imbalance in certain neurotransmitters within certain pathways of the brain (and this is still generally implicated in the pathophysiology of illnesses like depression and schizophrenia), but in reality it's a lot more complex than that and this is usual only one small part of the entire picture.

    Medication really has varying effects, usually they work by means of reuptake inhibition (SSRIs) or oxidase inhibition (MAOIs) in order to increase the concentration of these neurotransmitters, but many patients suffering from depression do not have low amounts of neurotransmitters in the first place and they can sometimes have no effect (or even negative effects). Equally, they can hugely improve symptoms in a lot of patients, hence why it is far more complicated than what is currently understood.

    There is definitely a large grey area when it comes to depression, but there's no doubt that it can have equally bad or even worse effects than a physical illness in people who truly suffer from it.
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    I used to wonder about people who don't believe in themselves
    But then I saw the way that they portrayed us to everyone else
    That cursed us, thenonly see the worst in ourselves
    blind to the fact the whole time we were hurting ourselves.-immortal technique#makesenseonthisdiscuss ion


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    I'd rather have felt physical pain than depression. At least physical pain goes away eventually. The only way I can describe it is that it was like a constant shadow that never went away. Always pulling me down. I couldn't think about anything else and never wanted to wake up. It just controlled me to the point it became me. It's like you wi never lose the feeling. But when you do, it's the best feeling ever!


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    (Original post by jessica_frances)
    I'd rather have felt physical pain than depression. At least physical pain goes away eventually. The only way I can describe it is that it was like a constant shadow that never went away. Always pulling me down. I couldn't think about anything else and never wanted to wake up. It just controlled me to the point it became me. It's like you wi never lose the feeling. But when you do, it's the best feeling ever!


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    If you don't mind me asking, what were you depressed about?

    Was it just life in general or was there something specifically that happened that made you feel this way. What did you do to get over it?

    There something currently that's constantly in my mind, it is destroying my mind and life at the minute. It's been on my mind constantly since October, so about 7 months. The problem in my mind is what many people would see as a trivial problem. I shouldn't be getting this worked up about it but I am.

    Just wondering if this is what's known as depression.
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    (Original post by ihatebrownbread)
    If you don't mind me asking, what were you depressed about?

    Was it just life in general or was there something specifically that happened that made you feel this way. What did you do to get over it?

    There something currently that's constantly in my mind, it is destroying my mind and life at the minute. It's been on my mind constantly since October, so about 7 months. The problem in my mind is what many people would see as a trivial problem. I shouldn't be getting this worked up about it but I am.

    Just wondering if this is what's known as depression.
    To be honest I'm not sure what it was. I suppose it was everything. I'd had a difficult year with family and things but I've always had a good life. I just put myself under alot of stress. Depression is different for everyone so maybe you should tell a doctor. If you need to talk I'm always here


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    To me, it's like someone is attaching really heavy armour to you, and the more they strap on to you, the harder it is to move and function.
 
 
 
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