Jump to content
Mental Support Community

labelling depression


Endlessnight
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone. I have a question about depression in general, and my depression in particular. (that sounds weird, 'my depression' :()

When reading other posts I come across all these different terms: bi-polar, PTSD, etc etc. I never knew that there were different kinds of depression, and that the different kinds have names. My pdoc never told me anything when I first went to him other than prescribing pills so I have no idea what kind of depression I have. I read a little bit about bi-polar and about PTSD and it seems I have some symptoms from both. My question is, how can I find out? It's not that I particularly need to find a label for what I have, but I want to be able to understand it better. I would be grateful if anyone can help me with advice or suggestions. Thank you. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi EN

Depression falls into the category of Mood Disorders in the DSM4. It is a separate diagnosis from PTSD or bipolar or schizophrenia or OCD.

(Bipolar depression is classified separately as it alternates with mania and has different treatment implications. When depression doesn't alternate with mania, it is called unipolar, which is by far the most common.)

Depression can be caused by any number of things and it is not defined by its cause - when you have the symptoms you have the label of 'depression' but that doesn't say anything about what the causes are. (Trying to discover the causes and seeing what can be done about them is usually also an effective method of treatment, along with, or even instead of, medication.)

Someone can have depression as well as some other mental illness. A person with PTSD will likely also have depression as a consequence, but not necessarily, they may have anxiety instead. Many people who are depressed are so, not because of any other mental illness but because of life events, circumstances etc.

I have no idea whether I've come even close to answering your question.

Edited by Luna-
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Luna, and yes it does answer a part of my question. I hadn't known that depression was something completely separate from PTSD, Bipolar etc. I had thought that they all came under the label of 'depression'. As I said, my pdoc never explained anything to me really. It is I who have diagnosed myself as having 'depression' as I had no other word for it. I had hoped that by knowing what kind of depression I had I might be able to treat it better. That is another concern of mine though: I panic when I think that the pdoc might say I have to stop taking my pills. Does anyone know how long a depressed person might need to be on medication? Thinking about my insomnia, how I couldn't stop crying, how emotionally on the edge I was before I was put on medication, it scares me to think of my no longing taking them, because although my problems haven't magically gone away (something I was hoping for!), they are present but not as overwhelming as they were. It could just be that the pills numb me. I don't know.

Edited by Endlessnight
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know how long a depressed person might need to be on medication?

Sorry, me again. That answer varies from "Never" to "Forever". In other words, who knows?

Treatment guidelines generally state that for a single depressive episode you should stay on a meds for 6 to 12 months after you first go on it and then you can withdraw from it if all is well. But if you have another episode, or the depression is protracted - then I don't know what they recommend.

What does your doc say?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's probably different for everyone. I think you have a <bout> of depression, triggered by something or a physical change, then medication short term may be helpful. In my case, the best diagronis I have found to my condition is dysthymia, which is a low lying depression in life generally, with repetitive and deeper episodes at intervals. I'm not sure I will ever be able to get off medication long term, not if I want to be ever feel content and normal. There is a whole spectrum of depressions I think, and it probably depends on what causes it for each individual...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Luna,

Sorry, me again.

((((((((((hug)))))))))):)

What does your doc say?

All he told me was that I would need to be medication for at least a year. After I had been taking the pills for a few months he had wanted me to cut down on the medication I take at night, and substitute some kind of sleep aid instead, but when he saw how upset I was he said I could continue taking it for now. I feel like i'm in a race. A race to get better before he decides I should stop taking any anti depression meds.:(

Symora, how do you know what kind of depression you have? Did you find out for yourself or did your doc tell you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found out for myself as I got to understand my pattern, and that was only possible when looking in retrospect. I can now see that I started being depressed in my teens, and I'm sure it was triggered by the rejection and meanness of the my dad at the time. It then fluctuated over most of my life, and was made worse with life events such as divorce. I firmly believe my depression is associated to my hormones, although I don't know if they are the primary cause. All I know is that 2 weeks out of the month I was struggling with what looked like bipolar depression, and then when I got my period I would be normal for a few weeks again.

At one point I was even diagnosed as bipolar, and I have lived the depressed and manic phases, but I know they were hormone related and lithium did absolutely nothing for me except bloat me up :(

I have never received an official diagnosis, but now I pretty well know how my depression works and have learned to manage it with SSRI medication. Perhaps you can take some time to reflect on your patterns over the last decade or so, see if you can associate it to things. I think that your depression is potentially associated to the stress of living the situation you're in, I know that type of stress really sets off my depressive tendencies.

Edited by Symora
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi Endless,

I can assure you that your PDoc will not take you off of your meds. Depression can be very chronic and, therefore, calls for long time medication, even an entire life, depending on the person.

It occurs to me that you seem to not have a psychotherapist? Medication is not enough. You need psychotherapy to learn how to improve your mood, thinking and coping.

Also, never fear asking your pdoc all the questions you need to ask. Self diagnosis is not helpful and neither is self treatment when on medication.

You can also ask us lots of questions and we will answer to the best of our abilities. I am glad you now know that ptsd is not the same as depression.

Allan:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Symora, hi ASchwartz,

Perhaps you can take some time to reflect on your patterns over the last decade or so, see if you can associate it to things.

What do you mean by 'patterns'? I know what caused my depression, though I only realised I was depressed a couple of years ago. I have no therapist Allan because there are none here, not from choice.

You can also ask us lots of questions and we will answer to the best of our abilities.

Thank you Allan. My main question is how I can find out what kind of depression I have?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi again. I just read a post on the forum talking about OCD. I hadn't realised what it was before the poster mentioned he or she does a lot of counting and now I think I must have that too because I count spaces and then spell out words all the time. I have done this for years and never understood it was a disorder, I just thought I was weird.:)

Should I have mentioned this to my pdoc? Is it something that is curable, because sometimes it gets to the point of where I can't stop doing it and it drives me crazy. :o

Any suggestions or advice is welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend with OCD has rituals that he does all the time. They are organizing and comforting to him. The trouble comes when he can't do his rituals or they come into conflict with relating to people:(. He's usually able to laugh about it somewhat.:) For him, he needs positive people in his life and positive activities to offset his tendency toward anxiety. Then things are manageable.

How are things for you lately, Endless?:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Finding. I don't count or spell consciously really. It just happens, and then I sort of snap out of it and realise what i'm doing. Sometimes it's like a theme in the background: my fingers counting off numbers or letters constantly. As I said, I dont even realise I am doing it until I 'come to' sort of (I dont really know how to put it :)).

Finding out that there are many different kinds of depression has left me confused as to my own. I wish I weren't so stupid and could understand things better. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

confusion can be very painful:(.

I am no expert on the names for depression:confused:

I do know that getting to know me and getting feedback on ways to be me and ways to explore new ways of being have been helpful. I'm sorry you aren't getting the information you are seeking, but maybe you can learn something useful about you anyway?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

people that struggle with their mental health aren't useless... they are often in pain though. :) I'm sorry you are hurting right now, Endlessnight. I have come to know that what we say to ourselves in these times makes all the difference in the world. Can you think of a different thing to say to you? Instead of "I'm useless"? It might be, "I am learning how to care for me when I hurt...I am at the beginning, but I am learning to be patient with me."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See how general that is, though, M.?

While it's a good thing that you want to try not to be so hard on yourself, there are too many loopholes.

One of the ideas of CBT (Cognitive Based Therapy) is to write down specific negative things you say to yourself, and specific alternative thoughts, much the way 'finding' presented it. Then you can substitute the new thought whenever the old one comes.

That's much easier than recognizing the general action of "being hard on myself", and then trying "not to". Does that make any sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how to be nice to myself, i've hated who I am for so long.

Endless it can seem that it doesn't matter if we hate ourselves, that somehow that doesn't "count" like it does when someone else is mean to us. Turns out, it really does matter. Cruelty is cruelty, even when it is self against self:(

Turning around what you are saying to yourself is a major work that reaps major gains:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Finding, what you said was a real eye opener for me, it is so true:

Endless it can seem that it doesn't matter if we hate ourselves, that somehow that doesn't "count" like it does when someone else is mean to us. Turns out, it really does matter. Cruelty is cruelty, even when it is self against self

I am going to try and make changes in myself, in my thinking. I want to learn how to. If you have any links you can post for me that might be of help I would be grateful. Wish me luck, and thank you. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Endless, you are wonderful at offering kindness and support to others. I think doing this can teach us healthier ways to treat ourselves. When you are giving to others allow yourself to feel and connect with the caring parts of yourself. Maybe then offer some of your own gentle spirit to yourself? What do you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...