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Yes, It Can Be Done

I was depressed and suicidal for the first 29 years of my life. As a child, I didn't think my parents loved me or wanted me. (Now I know they did, but never showed it in a way that I could understand.) I was socially inept and didn't get along with my peers. I endured some horrible times in school, my parents got divorced, and I could never find a boyfriend. I got worse and worse until it reached the point where I either had to get help or die. At about that time, a very frustrated friend (yes, I actually had a friend, a very patient one), helped me make an appointment with a psychiatrist that she knew. The psychiatrist asked me about half a dozen questions. All I remember of those questions is that some of them had to do with my sleeping patterns. Then he told me, "There are two kinds of depression. One is biochemical depression, caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. That kind can be treated with medication. The other kind is environmental depression, caused by one's responses to external factors in one's environment. Medication won't help that kind. That's the kind you have, so you need to see a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist."

These words were a revelation to me. It was the first time I had ever gotten a hint that I had any control over how I felt. If my depression were caused by the way I responded to events in my environment, then I could change those responses. I sat down and took a good, hard look at all aspects of my behavior. I decided to stop giving myself negative messages (i.e.: I'm worthless, I don't deserve to live, etc.) and replace them with positive messages. I started making a major effort to be nice to people (I was extremely neurotic and people were often unkind to me, and I responded by being nasty back.), and to be forgiving. I decided that I couldn't rely on other people (particularly men) to give me the love I hungered for, so I stopped chasing (and scaring away) men. I just accepted that the only person I could rely on for company, love and acceptance was myself.

About a year later, I did seek help from a psychologist. By then, I had pretty much gotten straightened out on my own, but the psychologist helped me a lot. I learned that only I have control over my own feelings, thoughts, beliefs and actions (unless I cede that control to someone else), and likewise, that I have no real control over the feelings, thoughts, beliefs and actions of others and am therefore not responsible for them. So, if someone insults me, that's entirely their doing and has nothing to do with me. I can choose how to respond. The way I usually respond to such things now is to figure that they're having a bad day, or that they're an ***. I am no longer thin-skinned and easy to offend. I also learned about the different personality types, their needs, behaviors, and different ways of communicating. Types of people who used to intimidate me (like people who never smile) no longer bother me at all. I understand that it has nothing to do with me; it's just the way they are. I know how to get my needs met and how to communicate with different kinds of people, and I am no longer neurotic.

I am happy to say that I ended up in a good marriage and have two children whom I have taught how to be happy from earliest childhood. My only regret is that I lost those 29 years of my life to the pain of depression.

Aeolosoma Aeolosoma 51-55, F 48 Responses Feb 25, 2008

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Good for you! I overcame my depression 10 years ago by using medication. Now, at 46, I realize that although I haven't had any episodes in the last 10 years, I have been living so carefully, avoiding conflict, avoiding stress, that I can hardly call it living at all. i think psychotherapy is a good thing in any case, even if it's just to overcome the trauma a depressive episode will give you.

thankyou! i overcame my depression also and it feels like a giant weight has been lifted off of me. I have learned that nobody can determine who i am and get me down.Because my life depends on myself and my choices. I would really love some of my friends to read this. thank you soo much for sharing!

It makes quite a lot of sense to me. It makes think a bit. Hopefully it can also be applied in my life in real-life situation. Thanks.

i recentl got physically sick and this brought a lot of anxiety. I also have other family problems. but i know feel depressed. Get tired and feel disconnected. I also feel my vision is weird can not focus. and feel like brain fog. ANy comments and support will be taken and before hand thank you...............

I watched a documentary about ayahuaska the drink from South America. Its illegal in the US but they say if you have a chemical depression it can help. Ayahuaska works in a way to where it increases neural transmitters and that allows more serotonin receptors to be working. Every person tested before and after show a HUGE change from their depression state both mentally and physically when testing for serotonin levels. Anyone who wants to find spiritual answers should try it I think.

i feel pretty bad to hear the story. I'm happy for u but the thing is it makes me feel so helpless n hopeless.

Thank you so much for this story, it's very inspirational. I have depression myself and am working on overcoming it. I haven't always been sure overcoming it is possible but things are looking up and reading this makes me even more optimistic. Thanks again!

Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.

much admiration!!

Great story. Some people are just, good people stuck in a rutt. <br />
I'm going on 30 years and counting, but hopefully I will be less cowardly, and take "my" cure. ASAP.<br />
Just getting both sides, good people should live.<br />
Sub-human trash such as myself, should remove ourselves for everyone's benefit. :D

hey! Well, i guess this wasnt your intention, ultrastench, but you made me laugh and smile! Come on man, dont go killing yourself...and i laugh because the words you wrote are only all to familiar in my own thoughts, about myself. a bit of the old black humor. But, this is just the depression talking. (ps i checked the like button by accident, dont go thinking someone wants you to die!) Get creative, try something new, or different. Think of something real crazy, like going to Tibet and becoming a monk for 3 months, or volunteering somewhere, or walking across Asia. Then, if you still hate yourself, at least you have a cool story to tell! peace.

I don't think those twenty nine years were wasted. Humans don't pop out of the womb knowing everything they need to know about being healthy and successful. The point is that you learned those things and overcame the troubles that you started out with. This post said some things I really needed to read today. Thank you so much for posting. It sounds like you had a very wise psychiatrist. Imagine how differently your life would have turned out if you'd seen a doc who just wanted to give you pills...

thank you

Thank you. I think you may have just helped me.

incredible it tells me i too have hope for my depression ptsd :)<br />
i needed to hear this !!!

thats awesome :) thanks for sharing

Sometimes it takes along time to heal from this. This is no joke. Now you can be blessing to someone else who is going through the same thing and help them and sow a seed into there lives. You know how it feels.

You know I to on and off during my life have been depressed. Suicidal as well. I have been abused physicaly abused, mentally, verbally by family memebers and people. Bad relationships and etc. Now and for awhile I have been healed. How. Changing my mind set. The things that I think about and meditate on. The words that I speak and forgiving those who have done wrong to me. I had a seen a comment about medication. From what I have been in touch with is this. Doing research. See people are getting rich. Go to the doctor doctors getting rich, pharmaceuticals getting rich the people who have tested or half tested getting rich the one that didn't go through the fda and let us know getting rich. If you take this medication because you feel this way but you will have other health issues like heart tumor or something else. If you take medicine for a problem you will have other health issues along with that one. They want us to take medicine to keep there pockets full. Why keep taking medicine when medicine caused damage to the liver or kidneys when taking it for along period of time. They want us to be dependent on that stuff. No way. I was in a mental hospital twice not glorifying it but I had cut my wrist and my arm on two seperate ocassions so that medicine they were giving was making them like zombies. Totally change We don't need medicine for everything. Now back to the words we speak. Proverbs 18:21 Death and live are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it. II Corinthians 7:6 But God, who comforts and encourages and refreshed and cheers the depressed. Now I can keep on going. I am not saying this God is saying this. I know that it is hard but you have to change your thought process. That is where the battle starts. What you think what you dream about will be what you feel what you speak and it will come.

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy, another citizen from the nation of blind idiots whose motto is "If I haven't experienced it, YOU cannot have experienced it.' <br />
Let me guess, because you haven't been to Mongolia you don't think it exists, right? <br />
YOU don't believe in God so God doesn't exist.<br />
YOU don't have clinical depression so clinical depression doesn't exist.<br />
WOW - such middle-ages ignorance in the 21 C. You're a legend and a dinosaur.

Could you give a direction or more detail as how you learned to recognize different needs of people and how to not be insulted or take on that you are contributing to their mood? thanks. I firmly believe too that we do have power to change our messages to ourselves, ability to not listen to what may perceive, and that if you want quality, be quality.<br />
<br />
I loved your story and am blessed by it. thanks

hey i feel so happy for you:) has realli inspired me and given me hope that i can overcome myself

I found your story to be amazing as well as inspiring. I can relate to a lot about what you mentioned in your story, because I am just learning how to get my needs met and communicate with other people. And finding it out that it isn't always about me. I understand why people don't smile, because they have their own stuff going on and so I don't get offended when they don't smile. I have suffered with depression since 97 and having been taking ant-depressants, but find it always doesn't work for me.

This is a fabulous testimony of what the human brain is capable of doing. I am so happy you ended the cycle of depression (you must be wonderwoman!!) I, too, have tried to change my "mantra" from "I hate myself. I'm so ugly, who would want me"? You get the picture. When those thoughts come up I try to say, "you're ok. Things are as they should be, and all is right with the world. Not ugly, just unique"! <br />
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As for the biochemical debate that has been ongoing here, I just have to throw in my 2 cents. I started drinking at the age of 11. My drug use progressed, and by the age of 37 I was a hopless addict. Then, I got help. I realized for 36 yrs I was self-medicating depression. This is how I know that there is some basis for biochemical imbalances, because at age 11, how could I have consciously know what I was doing? After, I got on medication (and it took awhile to find the right formula) Things have become more clarified. I still have bad days, but I am working on "enviromental" problems with a psychotherapist. Along with therapy and meds, I think I have improved tremendously. I no longer think about killing myself every minute of the day. Getting off the illicit drugs and getting into therapy has changed my life. I now see a future for myself instead of doom. <br />
<br />
I wouldn't fret about 29 lost years, it took about 35 of mne. I look at it in a positive light. Calling myself a late bloomer, I know I have a wonderful life ahead because it is just beginning.<br />
<br />
Thanks so much for sharing your story of hope. All my best ~~dar

Very inspiring!

This is a very inspirational story and thank you for sharing it. I hope to overcome my depression and tell a similar story someday.

Very good. I was the same. I am singing the song "Wasted" you know the country song not sure who sings it? But yeah tired of being miserable. I've let the world get to me and you know what I cant' change the world. Just my reaction and attitude while I live in it. I found my hope and faith in spiritual things. As long as my basic needs are met. You are wise in what you said on different personalities and no everyone is going to smile. My father always told me to no be so thin-skinned. There are alot of things I don't like, A LOT. That is hard to accept. As an adult you have to accept. So sorry you feel like you've wasted time. Make your next 30 years the BEST! Glad you found love.

Very good. I was the same. I am singing the song "Wasted" you know the country song not sure who sings it? But yeah tired of being miserable. I've let the world get to me and you know what I cant' change the world. Just my reaction and attitude while I live in it. I found my hope and faith in spiritual things. As long as my basic needs are met. You are wise in what you said on different personalities and no everyone is going to smile. My father always told me to no be so thin-skinned. There are alot of things I don't like, A LOT. That is hard to accept. As an adult you have to accept. So sorry you feel like you've wasted time. Make your next 30 years the BEST! Glad you found love.

Well done! It's great that everything is sorted & now you have a positive life, keep up the good work!

Regret is wasted energy, in my view. Congratulations on taking charge of your life and recreating it into something you enjoy living. Thanks for sharing your story and lighting the way for others.

Very nice story I don't think those 29 years were wasted. cuz now you learn how to deal with different personality & you can do communication with them & the Sam time you have experience in this life<br />
you are un inspiration foe us <br />
Wish you a god life with ur new family

I am so glad that you got help for your situation. Last week I, along with my guidance counselor, put together a plan to have a suicide prevention day at my school. We had a very unique, but fun, speaker come in who had her PhD. She was so compassionate as she spoke about people choosing to take their own lives. She was definitely not your everyday suicide speaker; she made it fun, got the audience involved, and even broke into song. I think that broke down the barrier some, but most people remained defensive and chose not to say anything for fear of what their peers would say/do. I am so glad you fought suicide and won. Hugs!!!