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Old 05-21-2013, 06:56 PM
 
14,169 posts, read 14,836,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pear Martini View Post
I strongly believe that most people can CHOOSE to be happy. Sure, maybe 15% of depressed people have a chemical imbalance but I think most depressed people are just comfortable playing the role of victim vs. being a survivor.
You can choose to be happy for sure. I do it every day. I have a tendency towards depression, so for me it is a very conscious decision. But it's not easy at all.

You CAN take control of the conversation. Ask the depressed person what they're doing to change their situation. If they say nothing and keep going down the same tracks, say you've already given the your feedback and don't know how to help them further. Then change the subject.

I tend to practice a version of clicker training with people who are relentlessly depressed. I respond neutrally to negativity with comments like "Wow." "I see." Etc. I don't make eye contact. When they say something remotely positive, I immediately engage with them enthusiastically and ask them questions about whatever it was they were talking about or what their opinion is about it, etc. I have actually seen this work. It's kind of a fun experiment too

Consider also that you seek out depressed people because they represent normalcy (however dismal) to you. Maybe make a conscious effort to seek out happy people (which is what I do).
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:37 PM
 
Location: here
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Depression is a real illness. It isn't the same as being sad, or playing the victim. A little empathy for your supposed friends would be nice.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:40 PM
 
Location: here
24,843 posts, read 31,471,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pear Martini View Post
We have known each other through childhood for 10+ years. They were both happy children & teenagers. Not sure what happened while I was living out of state.




Not sure. But I know depression irks me more than most people because I grew up with a depressed mother. I just have no tolerance for it unless there is a specific reason sun as mourning a loss, a break up, etc.

I think I'm just a caring person and I like to help people when they are having issues but it has gone too far. I'm like an unpaid head shrink.
Mourning is not the same as depression. You are not like an unpaid shrink. A "shrink" would say something helpful, not express a lack of tolerance for their affliction.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:59 PM
 
2,574 posts, read 4,892,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pear Martini View Post
I would also like to thank everyone in this thread for not bashing me for the title of the thread. I was pretty angry when I started it and need to rant.


I don't judge depressed people as losers, I just know there have been several times in my life where I could have sunk into a deep depression if I didn't take active steps to combat it & CHOOSE to be happy.


I really feel like happiness is a choice for most people and an illness for a minority.
Trust me, if people with clinical depression could CHOOSE to be happy, they would. Real clinical depression is crippling. No one would choose to feel that way if they could help it.

Being an entitled, whining victim is another issue entirely, and yes, some people need to stop being so negative about things and do something to fix them.

Don't confuse the two.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: OCNJ and or lower Florida keys
783 posts, read 1,744,947 times
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the mind works in mysterious ways!!
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,383,366 times
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Some people think/feel depression is an "illness." I have an advanced degree in psychology and I have studied many theories about depression. I personally believe it is a secondary "condition" covering unprocessed or unconscious primary feelings of rage or grief.

I think there is always a "reason" for depression, and it is often situational.

I personally do not "believe" in depression caused by brain chemistry (I am sure there are exceptions and there are probably biological reasons for depression based on brain abnormalities . . .but I think this is a tiny portion of the population). I think psychiatrists pulled the wool over people's eyes by creating this entire industry of depression that needs to be medicated to enrich doctors and drug companies.

I do think American life tends to be depressing, however . . .it is very shallow.

And, the drugs doctors prescribe, which people pop like candy are actually responsible for causing depression - as is alcohol, which is a "depressant."

Your friends probably need to detox and then learn methods of positive thinking. There's a ton of information on the web, so next time they start in with their "woe is me," ask them if they have read "x, y, or z" about the problem they are discussing.

Last edited by imcurious; 05-21-2013 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:34 PM
 
8,329 posts, read 11,437,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pear Martini View Post
I strongly believe that most people can CHOOSE to be happy. Sure, maybe 15% of depressed people have a chemical imbalance but I think most depressed people are just comfortable playing the role of victim vs. being a survivor.
This is why there is a stigma with having mental illness,and that most people don't seek treatment,until its too late and they harmed someone.
If they are diagnosed with major depression by a physician,then they have an imbalance.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 14,235,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukiyo-e View Post
Trust me, if people with clinical depression could CHOOSE to be happy, they would. Real clinical depression is crippling. No one would choose to feel that way if they could help it.

Being an entitled, whining victim is another issue entirely, and yes, some people need to stop being so negative about things and do something to fix them.

Don't confuse the two.
I couldn't agree more. I've been a lifelong sufferer of drug-resistant clinical depression and I had my first serious episodes before I was legal to drive. Back then I lived in a small mill town and people didn't know what was wrong with me. My public school noticed a change in my demeanor which was serious enough that they encouraged my mother to have me tested for mononucleosis since I was so listless. That wasn't the problem and it was more than a decade of on-again-off-again episodes before I was diagnosed.

I've learned a lot about depression in the many years since then. I know that my father had it and my maternal grandmother, too, so it's on both sides of my family. One of my brothers and two of my nieces have also been diagnosed. I firmly believe the tendency to suffer depression is genetic, although people can have situational depression that is also very real and beyond their control. I also believe, and research backs me up, that there is a link between sleep disorders and depression. I was a volunteer research subject for a three-year, nationwide study of this link conducted by a group of major university psychiatric hospitals. My brainwaves during sleep have been determined to be significantly different when I am in a depressive episode and when I am not. To me, that indicates that I really have very little control over my illness, beyond taking drugs and learning how not to let my bad moods ruin my life or effect the lives of others.

I swear to you I can spot a depressed person on the bus or on television. I'm sure there are some sufferers who are good at hiding how they feel and I miss them, but I can tell you for sure that an amazing number of people suffer from this chemical imbalance. PTSD (post-traumatic stress) is a form of depression, as is SAD (sunlight affective disorder). Many people with anger management issues are, in fact, suffering from depression. Many poor employees or bad students aren't purposefully annoying. They are depressed. Many people stricken with extreme grief are not going to bounce back without help.

Many things can be done to address these problems but since so much clinical depression goes undiagnosed, many sufferers don't even understand that the source of their problem. First and foremost, depressed people should avoid using alcohol or recreational drugs of any kind (I learned that the hard way). We are inclined to do that since we are desperate to get out of our funk and that looks like an answer. But in the long term, the positive change is temporary and the problem is exacerbated.

Now to the OP's "rant." I've read some of Pear Martini's posts before, so I know her issues with her mother are long-standing and have been discussed here in the past. I'm inclined to think that we do draw people toward us who are similar to what we are used to dealing with. I'm not saying it's done on purpose. I'm just saying if we are raised by someone who behaves a certain way, we learn to "handle" them and our skills are attractive to other people who have similar issues. Why else do so many children of alcoholics end up with alcoholic spouses? Shouldn't they know better? But in fact you will often hear, "I swear he didn't even drink when I met him, now he's just like my father." Or why do so many people get together with a string of abusive partners? Isn't one enough? But no, after being abused they hook up with the next partner who seem perfectly genial, the one day ... BAM. This stuff can't be a coincidence. We give off a vibe that makes us attractive to certain types and when we get to know them they seem comfortably familiar to us, too. A less serious example: my mother talks constantly. She is a chatterbox extraordinaire. Both of my brothers married women who are the same way but now, suddenly, it annoys them. And they would both firmly deny that they "picked" women who are like Mom. Maybe not consciously ...

So what to do? Pear, I'd suggest you have a decision to make. You either have to learn how to accommodate these friends because in the long run your ties to them are worth your time and energy or you have to cut them off if you determine that their issues are really making you so unhappy you can't go on with the relationship. I don't have a sense of whether or not these friends have been actually diagnosed and/or wish to change the way they feel and act. If they are trying to help themselves, I think it does fall into the "intolerant" category for you to just get angry at them. If they are clinically depressed, believe me, they can't help it. They might be able to improve their interactions with you and others if they put their minds to it, but this illness can't be willed away. And, honestly, many depressed people are completely unaware how unpleasant they are to be around. Self-absorption is a component of depression. So your just being honest with them could lead to some improvement.

If they are not diagnosed, you could do them a great service by encouraging them to get help. Anti-depressant medication does successfully assist many people. It sometimes takes awhile to find the right drug for the right person. Side effects are prevalent and dosages are sometimes hard to determine. I would also recommend them getting an appointment with an actual psychiatrist or psychiatric social worker. If they don't have money or insurance coverage, many cities and regions have public clinics where people can be treated on a sliding scale basis. Untreated depression results in a lot of social problems (divorce, unemployment, child abuse, homelessness, etc.) so there are organizations and institutions dedicated to addressing this issue. Call a crisis hotline or the intake office of a respected psychiatric hospital in your area for a referral.

General practice and family practitioners are allowed to prescribe antidepressants and they often are quite capable of diagnosing depression properly. But finding a patient the drug that is right for them and figuring out the dosage (which varies widely person to person) is as much an art as a science. You can avoid a lot of suffering by hooking the patient up with someone who has a lot of experience with the many different varieties of drugs that are on the market. Other people aren't helped so much by drugs, so they need therapy.

I have every faith that your friends are annoying. But there might be a serious reason, especially if they haven't always been like this. You have to decide if you want to confront the issue or get out of the way. But nothing will change permanently without action on someone's part.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Texas
44,269 posts, read 55,571,048 times
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If *everyone* you befriend/date is like this, please be aware that the common denominator is you.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 14,235,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
If *everyone* you befriend/date is like this, please be aware that the common denominator is you.
I have something I always tell myself any time something goes wrong. It's especially true in interpersonal relationships, but it's even true for small things (I buy something I think I'll love, then I hate it) to big things like choosing jobs (different position, same issues):

Once is an anomaly.
Twice is a coincidence.
Three times and I must be the cause.
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