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  • Results 1 to 7 of 7

    Thread: Depression

    1. #1
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      Depression

      Hi All,

      The following is actually picking up on the thread from yesterday and I've duplicated it there, however, as it's partly an appeal for greater understanding about depression I thought I'd put it out there seperately to see if anyone can share their experiences. So although the post was initially directed at WIP and Joanna, I would really welcome anyone's feedback!

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      My daughter is currently suffering from severe depression with suicidal thoughts - the antidepressants and counselling have thankfully seemed to stabilise the situation and we're helping her now construct a healthier life and yes, change her attitudes and thoughts. I'm a strong supporter of traditional CBT, not having heard of any alternatives, so would really like to learn more about the MBCT, though I have to immediately question how, if you see the same pattern of thought create the same reactionary behaviour either in others or in yourself, why would you choose to accept that and not want to change it? I'm speaking out of total ignorance of what MBCT is, just picking up on what you said WIP, so apologies for lack of understanding. I'm currently doing a course in regular CBT as I've found that, in my capacity as a teacher, it occurs naturally with certain students and, of course, I want to increase my understanding so as to better support my daughter.

      I have to admit to being sold on the benefits of activity with regards to depression so I've been trying to encourage her in that direction. All the research I've done supports the positive benefits of regular excercise both physically and psychologically and I remember vividly the 'highs' I used to get in my fit, active younger days! The difficulty I have at the moment is 'backing off'! It's difficult as a parent to now give her the space to find her own way, but I suppose it's a bit like becoming sober - if anyone had told me this is what you should do, I would have run as fast as I could in the other direction. The fact that I have been able to find my own way and in my own time has meant that I feel in control and have developed my own understandings which has given my the ability for the moment to move beyond alcohol. I would really welcome anyone's insight in to depression as it's something that I feel I don't understand well enough. Despite reading and research and endless talks with my daughter, it's a difficult thing for me to get my head around. So if anyone's prepared to share their experiences, either as a sufferer or as a care-giver, I'd really welcome your insights. PM me if you'd prefer.

      And Joanna, I really admire and respect your efforts and decision to not use alcohol as a crutch - I know that respite from the negative and depressive thoughts is something that my daughter really struggles with, and to face this without the numbing effects of alcohol is absolutely fantastic and shows a strength and courage that I really admire!

      Thanks for letting me ramble ....
      __________________

    2. #2
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      Depression

      Arial;564015 wrote: I'm a strong supporter of traditional CBT, not having heard of any alternatives, so would really like to learn more about the MBCT, though I have to immediately question how, if you see the same pattern of thought create the same reactionary behaviour either in others or in yourself, why would you choose to accept that and not want to change it? I'm speaking out of total ignorance of what MBCT is, just picking up on what you said WIP, so apologies for lack of understanding. I'm currently doing a course in regular CBT as I've found that, in my capacity as a teacher, it occurs naturally with certain students and, of course, I want to increase my understanding so as to better support my daughter.


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      Great question. The crucial distinction is this: in MBCT, patients are not taught to accept the CONTENT of their thoughts (e.g., "I am a failure") but to accept that these thoughts are occurring AND that they are JUST THOUGHTS, and not reality, or TRUTH.

      Some research is emerging that indicates that the efficacy of traditional CBT is not due to the attempt to "restructure" or change our thoughts from distorted thoughts ("I am a failure") to more rational thoughts ("everyone fails sometimes and I am doing OK"). In fact, the way our brains are structured and function tells us that trying to "restructure" thoughts is something of a waste of time, in that we are engaged in what is essentially a fruitless struggle. Everyone experiences irrational thoughts from time to time, and it is impossible to eradicate them by brute force. The problem is not that they occur, but that we take them seriously and believe them to be true. When we learn to step back from these thoughts, recognize (and accept) that they are transient, often irrational, and not something to dwell on (or struggle with), then we can move on in valued directions in our lives without letting these thoughts derail us in our efforts.

      So: traditional CBT is wonderful at helping us to notice and label our irrational thoughts. It's the next step (the attempt to "restructure") that might not be as effective as we think, and research indicates that the process of observing, detaching from, and labeling our troubling and troublesome thoughts is the most important part of the process.

      Does that make sense?

    3. #3
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      Depression

      Thanks WIP for the clarification - obviously food for thought (and more research!). I'm not at the point of implementing CBT yet and am very open minded about most forms of 'therapy' feeling that a more eclectic approach is probably best rather than a 'this way or nothing' so I like hearing all schools of thought. I will no doubt change views as my understanding increases!

      Many thanks for your input

    4. #4
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      Depression

      Arial

      Thanks for your kind supportive words.

      If you get a chance, have a look at 'Emotional Alchemy'; Tara Goleman-Bennett. It was recommended to me and she writes really well. She has many years experience in both psychotherapy and the tenets of Buddhism that the mindfulness concept is drawn from.

      Had a Eureka moment today. Have been mulling for a while over 'why I drink'. I have a secure and stable life etc etc and really felt that I was drinking just because I enjoyed it. This didn't seem enough to me however. What was I trying to escape from? What was wrong?

      Then it struck me. I AM drinking for the pleasure it gives me. Very few other things give me pleasure. As part of my depression, I have very flat affect perhaps it could be described as anhedonia; I don't get the normal pleasure from things that others do.

      If this is true, I think it will help me in my quest for long term sobriety!

    5. #5
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      Depression

      Jo, I think that is SUCH an important point! I believe that we really need to acknowledge that we drank, not because of some irrational, or deep, dark "unconscious" reason, but because we liked to drink and enjoyed the effect it had on us. Refusing to acknowledge that it felt good to us (when we realize it has become toxic, far too toxic to continue) can be a huge set-up for relapse. It's important to mourn, grieve, say good-bye, whatever we want to call it... to the substance that DID, in some ways, seem to make our lives feel better! Only when we truly say good-bye to the whole package deal of what alcohol has done to us and with us and for us, can we wholeheartedly feel as if we have begun to put it behind us.

      Hell, if it weren't enjoyable, then none of the "normal" drinkers would ever drink the stuff, at all! The problem is that our brains are structured in such a way that we like it way too much, and we drink it way too much... even after it begins killing us... (sometimes "killing" us by making a mood disorder much worse... that's how my father died... by suicide).

    6. #6
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      Depression

      Thank you Joanna - I'll certainly be looking that up. Aren't those 'Eureka' moments great! They don't happen often enough, but when they do the clarity, the sense, the relief, the awakening, the realisation... !

      Great too, that it's linked to a move forward in your understanding and your ability to reach long-term sobriety. I think as WIP says it's important to recognise and accept the enjoyment of drinking but to also recognise that we take it far beyond that. I was out for dinner the other evening and would have loved a glass or two of red wine as I am convinced it's a nice accompaniment to a meal. But I also know that had I had the glasses of wine, that would have led to a bottle open at home on my own afterwards, so I 'managed' to enjoy the meal with water instead and much preferred the sober evening and felt great waking up the following day - a much better chain of events than had I 'enjoyed' the wine with the meal.

      Alcohol is also a depressant, and I know that even without a mood disorder, my ability to find enjoyment in life - the REAL enjoyment of life - whilst drinking was impaired. I existed but didn't really experience. Sober and not hung-over I have started to notice and appreciate things that before would give no pleasure and I am finding an energy to do things and try things that I didn't before.

      It's great to hear the positive energy in your post, Joanna - here's to more Eureka moments!. I also find inspirational quotes are helpful either to provoke thought, to guide or to even inspire. This short one provoked thought - "Joy is not in things; it is in us." (Richard Wagner).

      WiP, I'm sorry to hear about your father. I can't begin to imagine how to get through that, and yet it's probably helped give you some of the empathy that you obviously have with others and are able to share here. :l

      So, onwards and upwards - another day where I win!

    7. #7
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      Depression

      in my personal experience depression is definitely a factor in drinking (or was i depressed because of the drinking...) anyway, i think a sort af anhedonia came out of my drinking which makes me think that it was a change in my brain due to alcohol intake. there is all kinds of research about how alcohol depletes amino acids and damages the brains neurotransmitters etc. so it's no wonder depression and alcoholism go hand in hand...anyway, just wanted to chime in.

      peace

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