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Old 06-19-2012, 06:48 PM   #101
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You can blame some of the overdiagnoses on insurance companies, at least in the US. If you don't have a diagnosis, many of them will not pay for treatment, so sometimes doctors/psychologists are stuck labeling people with some bullshit disorder in order to continue treating them.

I'm not sure how I feel about saying that mental illness is caused by a sedentary lifestyle, etc. I'm sure that may be the case for some, and the effect that one's environment has on one's mental health is certainly important. But there are certain illnesses in which there are strong correlations for genetic and biological causes. I sincerely doubt people can become, say, schizophrenic by sitting on their asses all the time.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #102
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I'm not sure how I feel about saying that mental illness is caused by a sedentary lifestyle, etc. I'm sure that may be the case for some, and the effect that one's environment has on one's mental health is certainly important. But there are certain illnesses in which there are strong correlations for genetic and biological causes. I sincerely doubt people can become, say, schizophrenic by sitting on their asses all the time.
Right, perhaps not out and out caused by...but I think it is definitely a contributing factor for a lot, especially depression. I think that as humans we've evolved into having all of these moving and functioning parts for a reason; every part of our body serves a function from our thumbs to the alignment of our spines, we are not built to sit around hunched over not moving for hours at a time. I think it is in our nature and when one denies oneself of this it can start to manifest mentally, and physically.

That being said, of course an active lifestyle isnt the answer for all; and biological causes are a contributing factor as well. However, I feel that activity can help regulate some mental illness, and it definitely doesnt hurt (unless that mental illness is anorexia).
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #103
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Right, perhaps not out and out caused by...but I think it is definitely a contributing factor for a lot, especially depression. I think that as humans we've evolved into having all of these moving and functioning parts for a reason; every part of our body serves a function from our thumbs to the alignment of our spines, we are not built to sit around hunched over not moving for hours at a time. I think it is in our nature and when one denies oneself of this it can start to manifest mentally, and physically.

That being said, of course an active lifestyle isnt the answer for all; and biological causes are a contributing factor as well. However, I feel that activity can help regulate some mental illness, and it definitely doesnt hurt (unless that mental illness is anorexia).
Oh, yes, exercise does help with depression. I think there are clinical studies that show that, actually.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #104
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Oh, yes, exercise does help with depression. I think there are clinical studies that show that, actually.
The degree to which it does is apparently an incredible thing. In some studies it's outperforming or performing equal to various meds. I know that since we've been poking around the gym there's an improvement in life together in a major way.

Problem is, that depression makes it so that someone isn't able to get out of bed let alone onto a treadmill. But the upside of somehow somehow doing it anyway, are vastly understated, I think.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #105
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The degree to which it does is apparently an incredible thing. In some studies it's outperforming or performing equal to various meds. I know that since we've been poking around the gym there's an improvement in life together in a major way.

Problem is, that depression makes it so that someone isn't able to get out of bed let alone onto a treadmill. But the upside of somehow somehow doing it anyway, are vastly understated, I think.
Physical activity is definitely an anti depressant, there is serious clinical evidence of that and it often blows out what drugs can do. The problem is a chicken and the egg thing, though, because when depressed the last thing you want to do is exercise...so you stay depressed. In theory anti depressants are supposed to be used as a stopgap, in theory when taking them you would then be able to do things like therapy or exercise to work on the underlying issue..doesn't always work that way, of course. I was on prozac at one point, a pediatric dose, and I was literally spaced out...I think being sedentary itself isn't a cause of depression per se, but I think a lot of sedentary people may be suffering from low level depression and are sedentary in part because of that.

Among other things, exercise is excellent therapy for one of the things that causes depression, stress....

One of the reasons we are over medicated is because of the insurance companies, they see taking a pill as being a lot cheaper, even though most studies have shown that talk therapy in many cases is more effective then the pills in treating things like depression, and with therapy, unlike the pills, there is hope to get someone off the meds and functioning. The pills don't cure anything, they simply treat the symptoms,and long term may end up being non effective (not to mention that anti depressants have a nasty side effect, they can cause some people to become suicidal....). Insurance companies don't measure effectiveness in terms of a cure, they measure it in what is the cheapest course of action. Unfortunately, attempts to regulate medical insurance to force them to give therapy equal status to prescription meds has failed to pass, not surprisingly, as both the AMA and the pharm companies see talk therapy as a threat to their livelihood (after all, if someone actually works out their issues, they no longer need the meds, and the insurance companies bean counters don't look at the long term costs of meds, they see that meds cost X/year and therapy can cost 2x /year, but don't realize the meds are for life....
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:06 AM   #106
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The most ironic thing the Nurse Practitioner said to me at the end of our appointment last night -

"I'm prescribing X, because you are exhibiting all the signs of severe depression and severe anxiety... But I have to say you are the most self-aware, healthiest, severely depressed person I've met."

If she only knew the decades of struggle it's taken to get here...
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:32 AM   #107
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One of the reasons we are over medicated is because of the insurance companies, they see taking a pill as being a lot cheaper, even though most studies have shown that talk therapy in many cases is more effective then the pills in treating things like depression, and with therapy, unlike the pills, there is hope to get someone off the meds and functioning. The pills don't cure anything, they simply treat the symptoms,and long term may end up being non effective (not to mention that anti depressants have a nasty side effect, they can cause some people to become suicidal....). Insurance companies don't measure effectiveness in terms of a cure, they measure it in what is the cheapest course of action. Unfortunately, attempts to regulate medical insurance to force them to give therapy equal status to prescription meds has failed to pass, not surprisingly, as both the AMA and the pharm companies see talk therapy as a threat to their livelihood (after all, if someone actually works out their issues, they no longer need the meds, and the insurance companies bean counters don't look at the long term costs of meds, they see that meds cost X/year and therapy can cost 2x /year, but don't realize the meds are for life....
Talk therapy is no more a miracle cure than anything else. It works for some things and doesn't work for others. I can assure you that I can't "work out my issues" by talking myself out of being bipolar, but the meds put the quietus on that shit in a hurry.

This attitude pisses me off.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:39 AM   #108
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The most ironic thing the Nurse Practitioner said to me at the end of our appointment last night -

"I'm prescribing X, because you are exhibiting all the signs of severe depression and severe anxiety... But I have to say you are the most self-aware, healthiest, severely depressed person I've met."

If she only knew the decades of struggle it's taken to get here...
Sorry for the double post, but....

*Hugs the Mouse*
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:26 AM   #109
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Just wanted to give a shout out to BiBunny for some proper amazing posts on this thread x
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:38 AM   #110
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Just wanted to give a shout out to BiBunny for some proper amazing posts on this thread x
Thank you.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:56 AM   #111
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Oh, yes, exercise does help with depression. I think there are clinical studies that show that, actually.
I have found, relatively late in life, that exercising myself stupid at the gym regularly (i.e. pushing myself very hard for at least 30 mins at a time) has been a MAJOR help to my lifelong-fucked, very depressive brain chemistry.

Sometimes I muse on the fact that my dad (from whom I believe I inherited my major depressive disorder) used to get hooked up regularly to electro-convulsive apparatus (and swore by it - recommended it to me, as did my docs, but I was too chicken-shit), and after decades of semi-effective treatment with anti-derpressants I am now hooked up regularly to the most punishing cardio apparatus at the gym

Maybe one way or another you just need to get hooked up to brutal apparatus

Seriously, exercise has been shown to be as good as drugs for some people with mild-to-moderate depression. And my own experience is that, for me, it works better than drugs even for severe depression (notwithstanding the fact that getting out of the house to do anything at all when severely depressed is like climbing Everest 10 times - once I got over that massive hurdle and forced myself to the gym, things started to change dramatically within a couple of weeks). Although to be fair I also got some amazing talking therapy at around the time I started exercising my butt off, and (very painfully) cleared out some extremely toxic stuff from my childhood.

By the way, I've found that only very hard, "Oh god, this feels like my heart is going to burst", exercise has that effect (and only when sustained at heart-bursting levels for 30 mins at a time). 10-mile hikes in the hills are good for me physically and I enjoy them immensely and I do them regularly, but they seem to do nothing at all for my brain chemistry.

Disclaimer: that's not to say that drugs aren't absolutely the best solution for some people and some disorders.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:36 AM   #112
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Natue is my second biggest stress reliever.

Choosing to sit on my porch while drinking my morning coffee, I quietly absorbed all the good vibrations that birdsong gives me.

Stillness steeped into my pores.

The hubs practically sat on me when he joined my perch, "Why are you up so early?" After a grin and a well placed kiss, I roughed up his back. "Birdwatching."

Mountain hiking and dark chocolate is on the agenda this evening.

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #113
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For those of you who hate the gym and find being told to excersise to lift your depression just another stick to beat you... there is some evidence that excersise doesn't improve outcomes in clinically depressed people already on medication: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18335173

I guess like all treatment it's in the 'works for some but certainly not for all' category. My mate, on hearing this, said thank FUCK, I always thought feeling shit was somehow my fault for being a fat lazy bitch'. I can sympathise with that feeling of relief.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:22 AM   #114
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For those of you who hate the gym and find being told to excersise to lift your depression just another stick to beat you... there is some evidence that excersise doesn't improve outcomes in clinically depressed people already on medication: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18335173

I guess like all treatment it's in the 'works for some but certainly not for all' category. My mate, on hearing this, said thank FUCK, I always thought feeling shit was somehow my fault for being a fat lazy bitch'. I can sympathise with that feeling of relief.
That's really interesting - and now I think about it my experience fits with that.

I had in the past joined gyms when depressed and taking anti-depressants, and the exercise did nothing for me. This time (18 months ago) I deliberately tried the gym as sort-of worth-a-try-as-an-alternative-to-going-back-on-anti-depressants thing, so these benefits I've been getting have been while I've been totally unmedicated.

Also, it's notable that the study allowed people to choose their own exercise and their own intensity - and I have found that only the "OMG I'm going to drop dead from working my heart too hard any minute now"-intensity exercise woks for me; as I've said, a hilly 10-mile hike does bugger-all for my brain chemistry.

(edited to add: I'm not talking about runner's high. I'm talking about how I feel generally when NOT at the gym working out)
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #115
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Meds can do wonders. They can also fuck up quite horribly. Some meds can make you thin and some can make you fat. I've seen these effects with those close to me.

Lack of exercise is, IMO, one reason why there is such a high level of mental illness in developed countries with a relative life of physical ease.

Talk therapy can help some with the right therapist and patient but not all.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #116
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Natue is my second biggest stress reliever.

Choosing to sit on my porch while drinking my morning coffee, I quietly absorbed all the good vibrations that birdsong gives me.
This kinda thing works well for me when I'm mentally healthy but feeling down or stressed or anxious. And it has zero effect when I'm clinically depressed. When I'm depressed this sort of thing is like trying to use a nutcracker to crack a huge adamantine boulder.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #117
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^_^

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Yeah, but do I exercise to reduce stress? HELL NO! I hate every fucking minute of it. I do it cause my weight is killing me, literally.
:

Glad I'm not the only one >.<

It's just not normal to LIKE it, ha!
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:19 AM   #118
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regret

I owe you all an apology. I did not have the right to speak as i did. I am sorry.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:33 AM   #119
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Natue is my second biggest stress reliever.

Choosing to sit on my porch while drinking my morning coffee, I quietly absorbed all the good vibrations that birdsong gives me.

Stillness steeped into my pores.
like Cattypuss, i have to be already on an upswing (which a mentally healthy person would describe as "a bit down" but for me is as good as it gets) to appreciate this kind of thing. i love nature and adorable critters too, but the sound of birds playfully chirping outside (and kids laughing and playing, which seem to always go together in this perky neighborhood) just makes me envy the birds their normalcy. it's like a kind of torture, because i know i'll never have that. sounds silly even to type, but that is the mind of a severely depressed person. Daddy always says the worst symptom of depression is "constantly having your head up your own ass." in other words, the incessant drive to compare the plight of every one and thing to your own, dwelling on self, etc. and it's true.

so yeah...birdsong...my depressed mind can only respond with "f*ck those happy-*ss birds." lol
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #120
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I get that. Glad to hear he gives you hugs. Here are some more from me. *HUGS*

that was...needed. thank you and back atcha. *hugs*
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #121
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I recognize the genetic components of some forms of mental illness. I also recognize the lifestyle contributors to emotional and mental disturbances, like trauma and abuse, stressful living environments, substance abuse and addiction, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition.

In my son's case, the medication was prescribed as a temporary measure until he could mature and tackle some of the imbalances in his lifestyle. Now he's coming off them, and the other factors in his life that create emotional disturbances are impossible to deny.

When you're in the throes of the symptoms, everything is so crisis-oriented or inert, it's too difficult to see a bigger picture. All we could see was the next moment and how to make it through.

Both my husband and my son's psychiatrist have indicated that, in his case - which is not too serious - the effect of the medication on his anxiety and depression could be created by lifestyle changes. It's just so much harder to accomplish that way. The question becomes - will he make the necessary behavioral changes?

I really appreciate the comments on this thread, and the insightful discussion it has generated.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #122
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I have a son who ... has some issues. He just turned 13 this May. We've been through about every available "therapy" and medication possible. I can tell you that insurance definitely tries to step in and have a say in the least cost-affect manner being the one they will "allow". Some recent testing turns out that we may be leading down the path of Aspergers which is an entire new show in its-self.

I think that today's lead on "mental illness" has a great deal to do with over-population. All these people in a relatively (in comparison) tiny planet ..

Anyways, I just wanted to say that having children with illnesses, being the one or having relatives with illnesses -- you all aren't alone. It's a very hard road to travel. And much easier to know you have company.

Hope you all are having splendid days.

-a
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:47 PM   #123
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We only started drugs the summer before college for my girl. We are hoping that she can go drug free when she is no longer in college, depending on what job she finds and how that works for her and what therapy and lifestyle changes she is able to create or get.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:30 PM   #124
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I'm at the bottom starting to go up again. I've been severely anti social and for lack of a better word depressed lately. I've always had trouble with depression but it's been worse this go around. My struggle is starting to get back to being healthy with lifestyle choices. It's hard because I've seen myself lose control to the point of gaining a good bit of weight. It seemed as though I was watching myself spiral out of control. I knew I wasn't doing well but that did not do anything to stop me. Watching myself and being helpless to help myself was one of the worst feelings I've ever had. I say being helpless because I tried everything I could think of to get me out of eating badly, not exercising, etc. I've never felt so powerless and I don't ever want to feel that way again. It's daunting to start again because I don't know what I'll do if I get back to my healthiest and start sabotaging myself again. That fear and that fear alone is what makes is the hardest for me to start.

I guess the whole point of this in the conversation is that I agree with the other commentators that exercise and healthy eating can go a very long way with depression. But I also agree that they don't go all the way with every person.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #125
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Aside from meds, an extremely important aspect of my remaining some semblance of "normal" is sleep. This one of those things that everybody completely underestimates. It's one reason I hate to go visit my parents because they think I'm supposed to spend a whole weekend there, and I don't sleep for crap when I'm there. So I end up spending 2 weeks getting back to normal after I come home. (In the middle of this right now.)

I'm naturally a night owl, so since I work at home and make my own hours, I've found that it's just easier to go with it than against it. But the number of hours of sleep is extremely important. My "normal" sleep time is around 9 hours. That's longer than most people's, and I do hear comments about "being lazy" and "sleeping so much," but I try to ignore them because I KNOW what happens to me when I don't sleep.

My first sign of impending cycling is almost always screwed up sleep.

After more than 3 or 4 nights of not sleeping enough, I take a sleeping pill and go down for the count. Otherwise, the lack of sleep (less than 7 hours per night) will spark mania, which will make me sleep even less, which will make me even more manic, and so on and so forth. I know what an ugly place that leads to, so I put that to a stop before it ever really gets started.

On the other hand, I know depression is coming on like a freight train when I start sleeping around 12+ hours a day without sleep meds and without prior sleep deprivation to cause it. That's when I temporarily up my antidepressant to stop the downward spiral.

Interestingly enough, sleep deprivation has been shown to help with depression in unipolar patients. I don't (intentionally) do this to myself because after a couple of nights of it, it'd bring on mania full force, but I thought it was interesting.
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