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Depression ~ What Can We Do? How To Help With This


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#26 jangel

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 08:33 AM

You are all loved and unique in this universe. None of you are alone. Just KNOW this....know this. Peace
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#27 Guest_k~spirits_*

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 05:29 PM

Dear GP Family,
This is an amazing thread!
Great information and incredible sharing.:)

I am at a loss of which aspect to comment on at this time.
All of this is extremely important!
I sincerely applaud the GP family decision and effort to openly share on this topic.

I have dealt with many aspects of these conditions -- some witihin my own life, some with family members and with friends. I had also worked within this field, in various capacities, for a number of years. I would say mental health advocacy was always a huge priority in my life, since I was a young child.*

I do agree with Pete in thinking about the holidays and how individuals and support systems/families can be affected, often finding the holiday season more challenging. Pete has made an excellent point and a great suggestion. I am "new" here so I do not know if this is something GP may be able to do. His idea has stuck with me! Lol! Pete's concern is about this season that is coming rapidly upon us.:)

Many personal accounts, ideas and points have stuck with me and I hope to be contributing more to this thread over time.

You each have been so kind and courageous to share. Thank you so much!

* I will start with my interest in mental health advocacy, with psychology, with psychiatry, and with psychosurgery as a child. This may seem like an "odd" interest for a child. I was certainly told it was "odd," often enough! lol!

This interest had flourished enough that I had written my first, fairly extensive research paper on psychosurgery as a freshman in high school. That was my choice of topic for a composition class. Everyone thought it odd. Great grade on the paper, but a disturbing topic for a person of that age. Lol!:o

I wasn't so much a geek, as I was deeply concerned and wondering how to reach those with illness and how to stop much of the nonsense often told to ill people and their families. At that time, the best I could do was to focus upon what we did not want more of. That is what I knew: all I had seen was something I did not want to see more of...and something that had begged for much better answers ... and greater understanding and even much greater compassion. :)

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" had been showing. I'd flipped my lid with that one. :) Read the book, too, and looked into the realities around the movie. I made a project out of researching all I could on shock therapy, lobotomies and other treatments... and also had researched patients rights...which were basically non-existent at that time. (That was tough research and I had found myself in a teaching hospital's medical library. I was welcomed to read all I had wanted to there, but could not take anything out of the library. There was no internet then. lol. I was a kid. Lol.)

I was so intensely into my research, I had temporarily forgotten why the movie had stirred me so deeply. There was much more to this "stirring" than the movie, alone.
Interestingly, I was stirred to get very serious about this topic and had temporarily suppressed the reason the movie had pushed so many buttons for me. Those buttons were already there, silently awaiting a "trigger."

My dad had suffered many episodes of severe depression. He had self-medicated so heavily with alcohol, I had thought (we all had thought) he was simply addicted to alcohol. He would have short periods of trying to go without drinking. He would not last though. He was suicidal... openly so... for years. His most severe periods were cyclical. We were forever looking for him, trying to save him from his psychological pain and his suicidal drive, hoping we could get to him in time, hoping he would submit to treatment, hoping someone could truly help him if he did go for treatment, hoping... hoping ... hoping. At 34 y.o., my Dad did take his own life. I was soooo crushed that he had suffered so, that he had died alone and had died in the manner he did, and that we-- his own family -- were unable to save him, once again, that cold winter night.
I had suddenly realized that 23 "saves" were not enough, not when the next episode was just as deadly or more so.
I was so lost with how to process this, how to consider all of this, how to accept the unacceptable.. truly a great deal of what I had seen and knew was "standard" in treatment then... was totally unacceptable.

Having worked within the profession, I know there is a myth around suicide. The myth goes something like: We need not worry about those repeatedly threatening suicide.. as they are not the ones that will follow through. I knew this was not the truth and I was quick to re-educate the professors in the lecture halls, the supervisors at work, the M.D.s uttering these words in Grand Rounds, etc. I knew this statement, also a professional "teaching," was erroneous...and thought it totally irresponsible to be teaching this to those paying for a sound education, those learning to specialize within this field.

My father had threatened suicide, repeatedly, for many years. He was in danger each and every time. He'd needed to be taken seriously each and every time. As his child, I'd also needed him to be taken seriously each and every time. I had taken him seriously every time. (Yet, I had failed to save him... and I had failed in helping him to heal...or so I had thought at the time. I was very young, not even a teen when he had died.)

When he would agree to treatment, nothing then available had worked well for him. The doctors were quick to blame this on him...he was non-compliant or stubborn or worse. In being a "difficult" case to treat, docs really did not want to see him coming...and he had learned this. I even knew this as a young child. It was that obvious. Heck, many family members did not even want to see him coming their way. They did not know what to do to help him and were overwhelmed with his illness.

He had been gone for about 4 years when the movie was presented in a class I was taking.
I was ripe for having much to say about the controversies in the movie. I may have not been so deeply stirred by the movie if not for the history with my dad and his struggles... the heartbreak involved for all concerned... and my own outrage that more and better was not available to those struggling and suffering so much.

I now know, after having worked in the field, that not all treatments work. Sometimes no medical treatment works well, even when the person is 100% willing to comply with treatment. Sometimes, treatments make the situation worse. We cannot rely upon medications, alone. We need to try our best to build a team to support the individual and the family/network of loved ones.

As time had passed, I had pursued an education that would put me in a position to do something for those in need. I had learned much more about all aspects. I had learned much more about the theories around self-medicating and dual diagnoses, etc. I had learned more about the difficulties in finding helpful medications, more about the politics involved in many treatment facilities, about the suffering of people living while chronically tortured by psychological pain, and had heard many of the theories around the biochemical imbalances, etc. I now have a much better understanding of all my father had endured.

It had taken me many years of investigation and many years of sweat and tears working in the very same field, but I had finally understood much more... about the nature of these conditions... and about treatments and treatment successes and treatment failures. I now understood much more ... about him and his life... and about myself... and I was finally able to move on... forgiving myself for not knowing what to do to truly help him.... and forgiving him... for succumbing to his very real and devastating illness.

It is still true that many times, these very devastating conditions cannot be well treated by current medications.
This is why we need to explore all options for treatment. This is also why it is important any treatment plan be comprehensive; if medications fail, it is important there are other aspects still supporting the person suffering.

I am happy to add, that with time and support, often the right combination of therapies can be found and people can do extremely well.
We, as a society, need to do more to support research and more to support people suffering these conditions, more to support their families, more to help individuals to preserve all they can... until they are in a better place once again.

More honest statistics are given these days and it is important to understand just how prevalent these conditions truly are in life. There is no room for shame.... no room to shame the person suffering and no room for the person to shame him/herself. This is not as hidden as it once was. The potential causes are multifactorial...and also numerous. Some of the causes are neurobiological insults/triggers from various environmental causes. With increasing environmental contributors/triggers, we will see more and more of this... until we, as a society get a better handle on causes and successful treatments/cures. (I hope to elaborate more in the future.)

In all endeavors of understanding and in treating/healing, we must strive to truly understand the needs of the individual. This is really our only chance of successful treatments/adequate management and hopes for healing on a larger scale.

I am very impressed by all that is shared here-- both educational info.links and certainly by personal sharing/feedback.
I am honored to contribute a bit of my life history to this thread. My experience with my father had given me the drive to become the mental health advocate I have become in this lifetime. It drove me to learn all I could and to become a much more compassionate person toward everyone... and even more so toward those often marginalized by our society. Our society can do better and we must demand a much better response, better research, better resources, more freedoms in treatment choices and much more in overall compassion and understanding.

Many Blessings Upon each of You and Your Loved Ones!:D
May love surround each of you and comfort you always!







#28 ditto257

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:57 AM

Wow, K-Spirit and all my heart goes out to everyone.I have tears in my eyes as I sat here reading some of this again and as K-Spirit said, one needs a support network.Well folks, I am very friendly and outgoing in real life but no friendships seem to work for me.The only ones I get along with a poor souls that are so messed up that at some point we become intolerable to each other.That and I am leaning toward a personality disorder for myself ( loads of bullying and abuse as a kid.) Green Passion has become my support network as I am sure it is for many of us..Ok off to work I go wiping my eyes.. This is very hard, but necessary..Thanks to Jangel for starting this discussion..Winter is coming and I am afraid.
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#29 jangel

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:34 AM

Wow, K-Spirit and all my heart goes out to everyone.I have tears in my eyes as I sat here reading some of this again and as K-Spirit said, one needs a support network.Well folks, I am very friendly and outgoing in real life but no friendships seem to work for me.The only ones I get along with a poor souls that are so messed up that at some point we become intolerable to each other.That and I am leaning toward a personality disorder for myself ( loads of bullying and abuse as a kid.) Green Passion has become my support network as I am sure it is for many of us..Ok off to work I go wiping my eyes.. This is very hard, but necessary..Thanks to Jangel for starting this discussion..Winter is coming and I am afraid.


Oh Ditto...being aware of what is possible, as far as diving into depression, is part of the winning of this fight.

Knowledge itself is a powerful tool.

Write up a mood journal, to help you track your day to day feelings, so you do not slide down into that hole unawares.

This way, you can use mental tools that have helped in the past, to change this.

I have something that my dear one has found helpful and will try to add it here.

Peace
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#30 DEBhasgrn

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:42 AM

Thank you k-spirits,, Thank you very much, I look forward to hearing more from you,, While reading this, I cried as I related and it all is so true,, Thank you for all you do, thank heavens for people like yourself....
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#31 jangel

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 09:08 AM

I found it! This is a handbook put out by the University of British Columbia Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and written by Randy Paterson, PhD and Dan Bilsker, PhD This has proven very helpful to my partner in his fight with depression and is used by many out patient and in patient care facilities in Canada. I hope you find it very helpful, one and all. It is a PDF file so everyone can save it to their computors if they think it will help them, or even print it. It is entitled Self-Care Depression Program Patient Guide. I hope this helps whoever can use it. God Bless.

Attached Files


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#32 SmokeToLive

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 10:32 AM

cool file
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#33 envind

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 11:16 AM

Well, Ditto, I have to say, and forgive the pun, ditto. I am 6'2, at 18 was over 300 pounds, and worked in a steel yard. Thought I was bulletproof, and looked it too. Big boy, no neck, XXXL shirts, you see the picture. 2 tons of steel mangled my leg, totaled my knee, and ended my engineering career. Hard to be on a worksite, when the siren of a crane makes you wet yourself. My "accident" was intentional, thank god for the unions. and in california, at the time, you had to be on the job 30 days to join the union. I was 22 days on the job when I was hurt. So I had an armed escort to get out of the steel yard, policemen with weapons drawn to get me through the picket line, with the crowd cheering yelling "die scab".... My leg was totaled, but the dr decided to try to fix it. He did, but I spent a week with my leg OPEN, skin missing right to the bone, hoping to avoid infection. knee immobilized, back a wreck, and enough morphine to damn near stop my heart. Has anyone been on enough morphine to hallucinate? Not the fun, happy, silly mushroom seeing colors. I mean, pcp delusions, don't know you are dreaming, OH MY GOD THIS IS F**KN REAL!!!! kinds of hullucinations? Morphine is not my friend. To escape the realities in my mind, I started doing speed. LOTS of it. I lived more, harder, in the next few years than anyone I knew. At my worst, I was running through 3.5-4 grams a day, up for 8-10 days at a time, with a 5th of vodka and a bottle of pills to come down. Dead or asleep, I just didn't want to dream. This is 18. I am 33. In 15 years, I stopped hard drugs, buried friends, totaled cars, loved, fought, raged, and lost. I have cared for perfect strangers to the day they die, and beyond, to get them the honors, uniforms, and burial they deserved. And I never knew the sound of his voice. I have fought to the death over a shotgun, to protect my family, and faced a life in prison to take on that fight. I have watched my "kids" (I ran a goat ranch) be born, live, and die, all in my very weak, insignificant hands. I have made life better, and I have made it worse. but by God I HAVE LIVED!!!!!! I wish no one the suffering I have felt, or seen. No one needs the pain, the shrinks, the drugs (Amitriptalyne, anyone? nortrip? how about buspar? Litium? Klozapine? Xanax?) the struggle and the strife, that any of us have seen. But can you know love, if you don't know pain? know joy, if you don't know sorrow? Our scales are more finely tuned, because we know the depths of pain, depravity, and misery. We have delved into them, studied in them, WALLOWED in them for years, some decades, some families for generations. But we know Bliss. We know Joy. better than any dillitante will ever know them. If you can't understand pain, how will you ever truly know joy?
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#34 envind

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 11:18 AM

and with misty eyes, I say to fight for what is right in your life. because no one else is up to the fight. Struggle, fight, LIVE, and enjoy. I am going to go cry in my coffee for a few minutes. I mean, I have something in my eye.
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#35 DEBhasgrn

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 12:26 PM

jangel I have not read all of the Self Care Manual pdf, but what I have read I can see this will be of great good to those of us who struggle with deep depression, or maybe it will be of help to the one who can feel and see the depression coming on... Great read, thank you... For me, my major down fall is isolation and not going for my walks,, If I would start with those two things or at least start with the walking it then lifts some of the helplessness from me, it will bring me to were I might do just one more thing for myself, little things like take a shower which sometimes feels like such a chore just worrying about needing a shower can be an issue.. It is such a vicious cycle... But anyways Thank you for all you are doing here, Everyone Thank you
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#36 jangel

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 01:12 PM

and with misty eyes, I say to fight for what is right in your life. because no one else is up to the fight. Struggle, fight, LIVE, and enjoy.
I am going to go cry in my coffee for a few minutes.
I mean, I have something in my eye.


Thank you dear one...I understand more than you know...sometimes.... sometimes that is all we can do.


jangel I have not read all of the Self Care Manual pdf, but what I have read I can see this will be of great good to those of us who struggle with deep depression, or maybe it will be of help to the one who can feel and see the depression coming on... Great read, thank you... For me, my major down fall is isolation and not going for my walks,, If I would start with those two things or at least start with the walking it then lifts some of the helplessness from me, it will bring me to were I might do just one more thing for myself, little things like take a shower which sometimes feels like such a chore just worrying about needing a shower can be an issue.. It is such a vicious cycle... But anyways Thank you for all you are doing here, Everyone Thank you


Please deb, I am here sweetie...don't hesitate to talk to me...I love you...very much.

I know my dear friend...
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#37 Thoughts

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 03:08 PM

I really want to tip my hats to the participants in this thread. What a wonderful idea guys! Let us all help each other and make this world a better place--one person at a time.
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#38 ditto257

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 10:45 AM

I found it!

This is a handbook put out by the University of British Columbia

Department of Psychiatry,

Faculty of Medicine

and written by Randy Paterson, PhD and Dan Bilsker, PhD

This has proven very helpful to my partner in his fight with depression and is used by many out patient and in patient care facilities in Canada.

I hope you find it very helpful, one and all.

It is a PDF file so everyone can save it to their computors if they think it will help them, or even print it.
Thank you J-Angel, I appreciate any help I can get...
It is entitled

Self-Care Depression Program Patient Guide.

I hope this helps whoever can use it.

God Bless.


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#39 ditto257

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 10:52 AM

Well, Ditto, I have to say, and forgive the pun, ditto.
I am 6'2, at 18 was over 300 pounds, and worked in a steel yard. Thought I was bulletproof, and looked it too. Big boy, no neck, XXXL shirts, you see the picture.
2 tons of steel mangled my leg, totaled my knee, and ended my engineering career. Hard to be on a worksite, when the siren of a crane makes you wet yourself.
My "accident" was intentional, thank god for the unions. and in california, at the time, you had to be on the job 30 days to join the union. I was 22 days on the job when I was hurt.
So I had an armed escort to get out of the steel yard, policemen with weapons drawn to get me through the picket line, with the crowd cheering yelling "die scab"....

My leg was totaled, but the dr decided to try to fix it. He did, but I spent a week with my leg OPEN, skin missing right to the bone, hoping to avoid infection. knee immobilized, back a wreck, and enough morphine to damn near stop my heart.
Has anyone been on enough morphine to hallucinate? Not the fun, happy, silly mushroom seeing colors. I mean, pcp delusions, don't know you are dreaming, OH MY GOD THIS IS F**KN REAL!!!! kinds of hullucinations? Morphine is not my friend.
To escape the realities in my mind, I started doing speed. LOTS of it. I lived more, harder, in the next few years than anyone I knew. At my worst, I was running through 3.5-4 grams a day, up for 8-10 days at a time, with a 5th of vodka and a bottle of pills to come down. Dead or asleep, I just didn't want to dream.

This is 18. I am 33. In 15 years, I stopped hard drugs, buried friends, totaled cars, loved, fought, raged, and lost. I have cared for perfect strangers to the day they die, and beyond, to get them the honors, uniforms, and burial they deserved. And I never knew the sound of his voice. I have fought to the death over a shotgun, to protect my family, and faced a life in prison to take on that fight. I have watched my "kids" (I ran a goat ranch) be born, live, and die, all in my very weak, insignificant hands.

I have made life better, and I have made it worse. but by God I HAVE LIVED!!!!!!
I wish no one the suffering I have felt, or seen. No one needs the pain, the shrinks, the drugs (Amitriptalyne, anyone? nortrip? how about buspar? Litium? Klozapine? Xanax?) the struggle and the strife, that any of us have seen.

But can you know love, if you don't know pain? know joy, if you don't know sorrow? Our scales are more finely tuned, because we know the depths of pain, depravity, and misery. We have delved into them, studied in them, WALLOWED in them for years, some decades, some families for generations. But we know Bliss. We know Joy. better than any dillitante will ever know them. If you can't understand pain, how will you ever truly know joy?


WOW,,Envid I do understand pain and suffering all too well..My life has been one serious roller coaster ride and like you " I have lived".. I accept all the bad along with the good times..I like you lived very hard when I was younger trying to keep my demons so F'D up that I couldnt hear them, but as I get older I am slowing down, the brain has too much time to wander and well here we are..I hope things go better for you in the future..Learn from the past and I am sure you have, you come across as a very intelligent fellow....,Take care and be thankful that we both found a place as special as right here, Green Passion..Take care..

Edited by ditto257, 30 October 2010 - 10:52 AM.

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#40 jnandai

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:47 PM

What a beautiful thread, and I so appreciate all this deep sharing. I too have had a history of depression. I can't remember when I didn't have it. The first time I was hospitalized, was at 17. I continued in and out of hospitals until I was 37, and decided I would not ever go that route again. But I logged up 4 years in hospital stays over those twenty years. Lots of medications. Whew. AND SHOCK TREATMENT also. OMG. I had eight sessions and then refused further. I don't recommend it, OMG. My case was always somewhat of a mystery. I was highly functioning outside of these times, and the depression melt downs often happened in spring and fall especially. I have to say, I have had some extreme physical pain, with RSD diagnosis in the past..........but depression was always worst than anything. Than being in a wheelchair, or bedridden, or anything else. Depression is serious. Thankfully, it has passed. I have twinges of it mostly, and the sativas help immensely. I've been at a very good place, emotionally/mentally/spiritually for several years.........and this has helped clear the emotional/spiritual depression from being in the world and life. I think what happens now is transient brain symptoms. Maybe some of it always was.........part of the MS/Seizure Disorder/Brain dysfunction. But like many here, I had a stressful life. Nothing helps more, than being around loving and conscious peeps. And speaking of LOVE, I'm sending out some right now, to everyone that deals with this. Hoping today is a very good day for everyone here! Love, jnanda
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#41 jangel

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 02:51 PM

Thank you all you fine folks for sharing your stories! Incredible the love that is being shown. I honour you all. This is how we can pay it forward. Just knowing someone else in this hard world is also struggling, lessons the load. And folks, we have many people that simply come here to read what is posted....and never join. Some are afraid, some are shy....some are not comfortable with joining. If by sharing this information we help one person, just one...well, then it is worth it. I love you all....just know you never know what battles someone is fighting in their lives or even in just their mind. This type of love and kindness is wonderous. Keep going folks! Peace and much love to you all.
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#42 DEBhasgrn

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 09:29 AM

I have a question,, I have read a few people say they have excepted this part of them... How do you do that? I know it is a part of me and I know I have to live with it the best I can,, But how does one say they except it, Like saying,, Gee thank you for making me this way,, It just sounds strange to me... I'm not trying to be a downer but I do think questions like these are important,, Any thing we need to ask is important.... Thank you all....
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#43 jangel

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 09:50 AM

I have a question,, I have read a few people say they have excepted this part of them... How do you do that? I know it is a part of me and I know I have to live with it the best I can,, But how does one say they except it, Like saying,, Gee thank you for making me this way,, It just sounds strange to me... I'm not trying to be a downer but I do think questions like these are important,, Any thing we need to ask is important.... Thank you all....


I think they mean far more than ACCEPTING this people learn to understand this part of them self and learn to see the cycle coming on. This is where it is important to learn how to deal with this, and keep your finger on the pulse of your frame of mind. This way, when you feel yourself starting to slide into that decline, it is easier to use things you learn to change how you are dealing with it. it is learning about this and what are your triggers that make us over all more aware and appreciative of our life. And not take the true happy times so for granted.

A sunny day is far more sunny when you have seen rain for a week....there is contrast in life, as there is in everything, so to appreciate joy, we need to have felt sadness too.

One thing I have noticed with my partner is that he is overly cautious with varying moods. It is a new revelation to understand the so called "normal" shifts from up to down and back again, and to not see this as a decline, but just part of life. Mood charts are one way for family to help sufferers to understand this. A person that lives with you, might see more at first than we do. So by a simple facial chart...sad, neutral, happy, up even from happy into manic, can be eye opening. Quite often at first the person does not see it them self...so this kind of help can be of high value to them, to help them better judge where they are with this illness. In time, and with experience, they soon better feel where they are in their cycle.

But still be aware of when this "downward spiral" is what we are watching for. He has had many years of clinical treatment, as an inpatient and out patient. The simple desire to be in charge rather than to be laid waste without a choice, will help more than anything else. And this is what "accepting" this condition is about.

It all comes down to Knowledge of what you truly are about....and the honesty to get to the bottom of what brings this on.
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#44 jangel

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 10:13 AM

Here are a few I found that might be of help for others. The link is here: Mood Diary

Text:

Mood chart for manic depression

Learning more about manic depression or bipolar disorder will help you and your family manage your illness more successfully. Knowing how to identify early warning signs, including unusually high energy levels, sleeplessness or recurring depression, will help you considerably. Understanding how aspects of daily life, such as sleep patterns and stressful situations can affect your mood will enable you to manage your condition.

The mood diary can help you and your doctor monitor your illness. By gathering information about your mood, events in your life, sleep patterns and medications you are taking, you may notice patterns that would otherwise remain undetected. Taking your mood diary to your doctor will help him or her monitor your illness and treatment. If you find it difficult to complete the diary, a relative, partner or close friend may be able to help.

A blank mood diary, completed example mood diary and guide can be downloaded below. You will need a PDF reader, such as Acrobat Reader to open the files. Multiple copies of the diary can be downloaded or you can always come back to download more copies.



Tips for completing a mood chart

What is this mood diary for?

Understanding the pattern of your mood symptoms is critical to successful treatment. During a visit with your doctor trying to remember your symptoms over the past few weeks or months can be difficult, especially if you are ill. By recording your mood daily, you will have much more reliable information to help your doctor decide what treatment is best for your condition.

The mood charts in this diary are intended to provide you with a simple way of monitoring your illness. Mood charting will allow you to bring together important pieces of information such as your mood state, medication levels, and stressful events. Recording this information on your chart generates a simple graph on which you can see emerging patterns that otherwise might be difficult to identify.

Mood charting is a good way to record events chronologically and will help you to report your mood to your doctor more efficiently. After a few months the mood chart can be a useful tool for looking to the future. Once you begin to track your mood and become accustomed to the chart, you will find it very quick and easy to enter information each day.



Here are the PDF's that go with this article. I hope they help.


First PDF is the instructions.

The second is an example of how it works.

The third is a blank mood diary.

There are different ones as well, used mostly in children with these problems.

If someone would Like I will get them as well.











Attached Files


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#45 Guest_k~spirits_*

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 04:03 PM

As I read and re-read this thread, I am increasingly deeply touched by all of the honesty and grateful for all of the sharing.

Thank you for feedback on what little I had shared, both public and private feedback. I am grateful.
I don't want to mislead anyone though.

My father's struggles were the first to introduce me to some of what would lie before me in life.
Genes being what they are, and life being what it is, I have dealt with more of this, of varying blends and intensities, in my personal life.
Becoming an advocate does not grant a "get out of depression free" card. If only it were that easy!
I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression.

I have seen major depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, bipolar conditions within my extended family.
I have lost one brother to bipolar and alcoholism. He was in his early 40's. I had lost another brother to an alcohol-related accident.
I watch many other family members struggle with severe anxiety and struggles with mood disorders, along with struggles with very destructive addictions.

I sometimes struggle with depression in relationship to severe chronic pain. The neurological illness I live with is extremely painful, increasingly so over the past 20+ years. All of the docs consider the overall pain intractible. This is what had caused me to seek out Green Passion. ;)

My husband was suddenly struck with a severe condition several years ago now, which was diagnosed as an atypical bipolar condition, after he had taken the vaccinations in prep. for deployment for military conflict. Several other people in his group were also very ill. He was seriously impaired. It had taken about 3 years for him to start to clear up from an "acute" and very serious illness state. He is still being treated, and I am happy to report he is doing extremely well. (His docs did not expect him to ever do well again. They are often wrong about these things.;) ) He has been very stable for quite awhile now. Most people haven't a clue he has to watch himself. However, we both remain mindful. We have each learned the initial signs that indicate it is time to be more careful, time to decrease stress, time to get more sleep, time to get more exercise, time to be sure nutrition is up to par, time to make a med adjustment, etc. Although he has primary responsibility for his own well-being, and I have primary responsibility for my own well-being, we do have a team approach and work at helping one another in any areas either of us may need/want support. We also support one another by encouraging one another to obtain any additional support needed. We are very lucky to have each other. :)

Jangel has made so many great points! Sometimes, loved ones are able to see the first signs and can give helpful feedback. With bipolar conditions, in particular, often one of the cardinal signs of an impending episode is the person loses "insight." When this happens, the person may have great diffculty recognizing the trend they have entered into. This is why it is important to look at the mood diaries/mood charts and look for trends in pattern changes. These tools can help to intervene early in a change in trends.
It is also very helpful if you can negotiate an agreement with anyone you trust, asking them to give you feedack.
This feedback can be very helpful! It is important that all parties learn to recognize the normal mood changes we all experience vs. those that may be cause for greater concern and may also call for a change in plans/actions.
Jangel, the .pdf file and the mood chart are both great!:)
Fantastic tools!

Hourly mood charts may feel like over-kill, and they may be in some circumstances; however, they can also be extremely helpful in discerning all kinds of info. whenever a daily chart is not enough.
It is easy enough to transition between the two formats, using the hourly when needing more info.

Some have also found this hourly type of chart helpful when some people are experiencing rapid cycling, are evaluating the effects of new meds (of any type), etc. For example, if I'd wanted to introduce any med (either mmj or any other med) and I'd wanted to see how this affected my mood (as well as looking at overall trends in how I sleep, my activity level, etc.) I can use one of these formats to look at my own trends/patterns. If people wonder if certain drugs are helpful for a few hours and then cause a "crash," they will likely see the trends on an hourly chart.
I have seen people able to isolate some of the helpful vs. aggravating contributors to conditions when using the hourly charts. Some people have suddenly discovered how things like caffeine, certain foods, interactions with specific people, exposure to specific settings, etc., can have a major impact. Anyone may modify any of the charts to isolate all kinds of factors and the effects upon their moods.

If you are using a daily chart and are having difficulties, you may move to an hourly chart and start to identify some of the aggravating factors within each day. Hourly charts can be helpful even if you do not mark every single hour of the day. You may choose which parts of the day you wish to look at more closely, based upon what you are trying to evaluate. If you do not know what you are looking for (are not looking at a med effect, for example), then simply chart and look at patterns/trends over a few days and you may start to ID components of your life that are helpful or aggravating.

Keeping charts, in a folder or binder can be extremely helpful. You may then review long-term trends. You may see improvements you did not fully recognize, etc. In a different example, if it is Fall and you are having a hard time, you may look at your chart for the prior Fall season, see how you were doing, see which meds you were taking then, see what was helpful/harmful then, etc. Some amazing info. can be extracted from these charts.

Many people find charting helps them to have more control of their own lives. They gather the info. and they are the first to discover the trends. They are not totally reliant upon someone else to try to discover these factors for them. This active participation can feel very "freeing" and can give people a new sense of being able to assess and to handle fluctuations themselves. We all want to experience having more control over the things we feel may get out of control in our lives.

Charts/diaries may also serve as documentation you can share with your care/support team if you wish. Sometimes, someone else can see a trend we cannot see.
They also are often considered evidence, should you care to introduce them as such, in some disability evaluations, in some legal hearings associated with disability claims, etc. (Please consult your legal expert on this, as these regulations often change, and may differ greatly from year to year, and from country to country.)

These charts have also been helpful to people with anxiety issues, with major depressive issues, etc. Again, these charts are often easily modified to fit many different types of scenarios.;)

If you are evaluating something you want to track, yet it is also something you want to keep totally private, and you fear someone may discover your charting, you may think of a symbol that represents the factor you are tracking and use the symbol in your charting. ;)
This has been helpful to people wanting to chart on factors, yet not wanting to disclose exactly what they are tracking/evaluating.

Again, I simply must praise the idea of starting this thread and all of the participation within this thread.

What a wonderful community effort!
smileyheart.gif Posted Image



#46 Guest_k~spirits_*

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 05:07 PM

Dear GP Family,

I had changed some plans on my schedule today in order to devote some extra time to those struggling right now.
I have been giving this some additional attention on a few online forums and have been spending time taking/returning phone calls.
For some, the season of increased depression is already upon them, in major ways.

Jangel has so lovingly reminded us all we are not alone in our challenges.
I am writing to reiterate this.

Over the past two days, I have received a tremendous increase in the amount of email and phone calls highlighting the struggles very many people, all over the map, are experiencing right now with depression. The rate at which the calls and emails are flooding in, from all kinds of sources (both in my 3D life and online), on this same topic, is staggering.

In checking with friends still actively in the mental health profession, they confirm the increase in calls, in requests for appts., in requests for med changes, in the number of psychiatric emergencies they are also seeing -- all reflecting an increase in overall difficulties for many right now.

Many are also experiencing a severe increase in pain. Many with fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain are having a very trying time right now.

Please do know you are not alone!;)

Please know many are struggling. Please also know many care! Please also know that most emergency rooms/emergency services, clinics, hotlines, online sites already recognize this increase and are gearing up to help to deal with this.

Please don't be shy if you are suffering. Reach out!;)

Reach out for anything you need!
Reach out for support! Reach out to talk! Reach out for companionship!
Reach out for help with getting any help you could use -- whether it is talking with friends, with professionals, or by asking someone to help -- by picking up meds, by picking up groceries, by bringing you a hot meal, by bringing by a movie to watch together (or alone), by meeting a friend for a coffee, by meeting for a meal, etc.
Don't be afraid to call on your professional helpers, to call upon friends, to call upon family, to call upon hotlines, etc.

Think about which things, people, places tend to help...even help a little... and pursue those things.


Please stay safe!!!
Posted Image

Know others do care and you are loved! smileyheart.gif


#47 DEBhasgrn

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:34 AM

Thank you k spirits, I do truly appreciate all you are doing here, I am even starting to feel better, one reason I am is due to this topic and every ones participation in to this difficult subject,,, Thank you all
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#48 Itinkso

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:31 AM

Thank you k spirits, I do truly appreciate all you are doing here, I am even starting to feel better, one reason I am is due to this topic and every ones participation in to this difficult subject,,, Thank you all

now...if YOU are feeling better debs it makes my heart sing to know there MUST be others like you out there who are feeling better too.....simply through dialogue and loving vibes!!!


AWESOME!!!! actionleaf.gif
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#49 DEBhasgrn

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 06:26 AM

Thank you tink,, I am still on the mend and will be for a while I am assuming from past history,, But at least it is working when I force myself to go for the walk, I am not just thinking of it and heading back to bed, I am doing it and feeling better for it. I am still having anxiety attacks at the thought of going even down to the store.. I had to do it yesterday, as I'm driving along my heart is pounding and I am shaking,, I had to get gas for the car, go to store to get ginger-ale for the upset stomach I have been dealing with brought on by the depression and anxiety,, I also had to go to the post office.. All this time driving to do these things I'm trying to tell myself it will be ok, and of course it was ok, I got it all done but it was hard.. So the point is, I am right back to square on were I am anxieting about everything, like are my tires ok, so on and so on with the littlest things, I need to work with myself again to get out of this way of thinking.. But with work this too shall pass, it might take a while again and it sucks going through it all again, but that is life,, I still don't understand excepting it, but I will work with it so I may have that peace of mind again... I have been taught most of the information here as I have been in and out of counseling for years,, But even though we have been taught these things, sometimes it is important to learn it all over again as we tend to put it all aside until we desperately need it again.. With my counselor I have been doing some reading on some new research they are doing, it is being said that the fibromyalgia is deeply connected with the bi-polar.. I will get my papers out and see what I can share with this information... Thanks again everyone, and thank you for listening,, I know for me it helps,, I seem to be able to share and ask for help more openly here in this topic then I am able to in my world out here. I hope by talk it too can help someone in need to understand, they are not the only one who suffers with depression and that it is ok to talk even if it is only here they feel comfortable doing so..

Edited by DEBhasgrn, 07 November 2010 - 01:44 AM.

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#50 jangel

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 07:36 PM

Oh my dear friend...I understand, and have seen my partner feel these things. I too feel challlenges at times over stupid things, that I eventually have to do, Like taxes...it took me months to get it done, Panic, freak out, well you know...drama my name is me....because I built it up so much in my mind...awful feeling anxiety.

My honey gets it too...really bad at times. For instance, with his business, he is a one man show. A big risk for him, emotionally and sure as shooting, almost every Monday for the first year he felt anxious, over powering anxiety during the day...and the more he persevered, and realized it was just Monday that made him feel that way, as I told him every Monday when he felt that way. Then it was months and again, Monday, and he was feeling anxious...all part of his cycle, but having someone to say to him "it is just Monday and it will be fine' works.

so YOU have to say to yourself, after every time this happens, "It was okay last time, remember Deb? so it will be okay this time!" and then it will be and you will forget how that felt. until it might just spring up months down the road...and you say..." Oh remember this and it is always OKAY! I understand and accept this bit I know about me...!" then you will indeed Get it my friend. and accept yourself...with your understanding.


Hugs my dear one! Love you.
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