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BDI? (Beck depression inventory?)


Proverbs31:28
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My Therapist told me today she is concerned about my ongoing depression. Honestly, I am concerned about it, too, but I am mostly frustrated that, after almost 5 years and multiple med changes, things aren't any better. She suggested I start tracking my depression symptoms by using the BDI (Beck Depression Inventory) once a week. She will score it and then share it with my pdoc. She is worried that I don't tell my pdoc exactly how bad it gets (and, truthfully, I don't) so she wants to make sure she shares the info with him.

Does anyone use the BDI to track symptoms? How often do you do it? I am a little concerned that seeing my symptoms in black and white and facing that reality week after week will actually worsen my depression. I did tell T that and she said if that became a problem, we would just do the test less frequently.

Anyway, just looking for any input from anyone who may have been down this road before.

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Hi proverbs31:28

I had done that awhile ago once with a T and filled it all in before the appt. then he would tally it and I could see if there were small gains or slips easyer then talking about all symptoms. I think it gets to the point and just to tally what were are already knowing. I found it anxiously boring to repeat each week and started feeling blured by my answers but overall it did map it out well. Sometimes I felt bad but saw a rise in my mood on the big picture and that made me feel hopeful overall that day other times I found if I still felt bad but saw a rise it annoyed me because I still felt crappy either way but the T would say "see this is good" while I'm saying " ok, sure?" Anyways it does keep a good record of the up downs and sometimes it is easyer to just show it in a test instead of getting all into topics when feeling really low, the test would catch this and that is good, because it will alarm the Dr.'s helping you quickly.

Hope this helps, sounds like a good idea to me

take care;)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi forgeting and proverbs,

I agree with forgeting that taking these tests repeatedly is boring. The DDI is fine but it will only confirm what you know: you are depressed.

What type of therapy are you in: cognitive behavioral or psychodynamic?

What types of medicines are you taking and have you tried in the past?

What is pulling you down: why so depressed?

Allan :)

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What type of therapy are you in: cognitive behavioral or psychodynamic?

I am in CBT with a private practice therapist. I have tried group therapies in the past and have had both success and disappointment. I seem to do better in one-on-one therapy as a general rule.

What types of medicines are you taking and have you tried in the past?

I am currently on Effexor, Xanax and Trazadone. I have previously taken Zoloft (4 years), Wellbutrin (briefly), Zyprexa (briefly), Ativan (on prn basis for a few months), Lexapro (several months or a year, can't remember), Remeron (briefly) and others I don't recall, mostly attempted while inpatient.

What is pulling you down: why so depressed?

Allan :D

That is the 64 million dollar question. Although my depression is sometimes triggered by life events, it is usually not. I often do not know, or cannot determine, where the depression is coming from. It usually starts out small, such as feeling down or blue for a bit and before I know it, it has escalated. I think this is the frustrating part for me: if I knew where the depression is coming from, I could do something to stop it, perhaps. Not knowing is downright frustrating. Most of the time, I don't even realize I am clinically depressed until I am deeply depressed. I think I have just learned to function around most symptoms.

Currently, I have been fighting depressive symptoms off and on since June. I have had several periods of feeling "okay" but I can honestly say I have not been "happy" or even "content" for months. I used to be quite optimistic in general and have slowly become not just pessimistic but downright cynical about life. I do not see the point in getting out of bed most days: I know life is just waiting to swallow me whole. I force myself to smile, laugh, and talk to others about shallow things because that is what people expect of other people. But, frankly, it gets tiresome and exhausting. I do not see the point of forming deep lasting relationships as it is simply another opportunity to experience deep emotional pain when they, too, realize I am not worth the time and energy of a friendship. I spend most of my time indoors, alone, with the lights off because I prefer it that way. I make plans to go places or do things or see people and, then when the time comes, I am paralyzed by fear or apathy or the need to be alone and cry and I make excuses and don't go. I cancel more plans than I keep which I am sure most people see as flaky and irresponsible. So, I more and more frequently fade into the background and let life forget about me. I prefer anonymity and being invisible.

I have said it before, and it is absolutely true (even though I know I am not "supposed" to think or say this) that, were it not for my kids, I would have left this earth long ago. There is NOTHING left here for me. My kids, however, have a life and a future and everytime I mention suicide as an alternative, I get statistics thrown at me about how deeply my children would be affected. COmbine that with the knowledge that their useless, uncaring father would be their caregiver and I simply CANNOT leave that legacy to my children. So, I accept depression as my lot in life, just as a diabetic accepts his. I get angry, upset, frustrated, disappointed and I cry and I grieve and, sometimes, Ibegin to wonder if there really is a new life waiting for me that I can't see because I am blinded by my emotional state but none of it matters. It doesn't change anything.

Frankly, people tell me "it will get better" or "take one day at a time" or "there is a light at the end of this tunnel" and I just want to scream! They don't know that. They can't possibly know that. I used to believe that. I used to dust myself off and get back up and try again. But, lately, I just don't see the point. Life goes on without my participation. It doesn't need my involvement.

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Blessed,

That your therapist wants you to track and measure your depression is a good sign, in my humble behaviorally-oriented view. The idea is to get an honest baseline of what you are experiencing. With this you have the ability to know whether things are worsening or getting better free of biased recall (becuase when you are feeling particularly depressed, things will seem worse than they have actually been). It may be boring to do this repetatively, but it doesn't take long. There are only 20 or so questions on the BDI. Repetetive measurement brings an element of accountability into your therapy, which I believe is a good thing.

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

Currently, I have been fighting depressive symptoms off and on since June. I have had several periods of feeling "okay" but I can honestly say I have not been "happy" or even "content" for months. I used to be quite optimistic in general and have slowly become not just pessimistic but downright cynical about life. I do not see the point in getting out of bed most days: I know life is just waiting to swallow me whole. I force myself to smile, laugh, and talk to others about shallow things because that is what people expect of other people. But, frankly, it gets tiresome and exhausting. I do not see the point of forming deep lasting relationships as it is simply another opportunity to experience deep emotional pain when they, too, realize I am not worth the time and energy of a friendship. I spend most of my time indoors, alone, with the lights off because I prefer it that way. I make plans to go places or do things or see people and, then when the time comes, I am paralyzed by fear or apathy or the need to be alone and cry and I make excuses and don't go. I cancel more plans than I keep which I am sure most people see as flaky and irresponsible. So, I more and more frequently fade into the background and let life forget about me. I prefer anonymity and being invisible.

I find this papargraph telling. I think that this paragraph contains the root cause of your depression.

I think that you and your therapist should address this -- in depth.

Just my two cents.

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Go to your library and look up Aaron Beck. And i highly suggest that you read his book, that should calm any worries you have. He's a smart guy and he knows what he's talking about. He created that inventory, and it became one of the standard psych tests, it's been in use for years. You might want to talk to your doc about Cognitive Therapy. It sounds like it would be helpful for you. (If you look up Beck, you'll also find out about Cognitive Therapy).

I understand the balancing act of wanting to really talk to your counselor yet really not wanting to get locked up. My answer is use of the word "hypotheticaly". As in, "Hypotheticaly, what if i said i see no point in living?" They can't lock you up for a hypothetical question.

Clinical Depression doesn't need a root cause or reason "why"; it just is, THAT'S why it's considered a mental/emotional disorder.

Poet

Edited by poetdowns
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