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On 9/12/2021 at 7:30 PM, StringJunky said:

I'm a 40 year+ on/off chronic depressive

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope it improves for you. 

 

On 9/12/2021 at 7:30 PM, StringJunky said:

If one becomes  inexplicably depressed , with no known current cognitive/emotional issues, either internal or external, that, would imo, probably point to a persistent endogenous or organic cause.

It might be possible to approach depression from a free will perspective. Evolution is deterministic so some things we find pleasurable like social relationships, food and shelter are all ingrained in our subconscious from the genetics of previous generations. However there might be a mismatch between what we personally want in life and what our ancestors would've wanted in their lives. Worldviews can change drastically through the millennia. Some people might feel more affinity for foreign cultural beliefs seeing as there are innumerably different ways to live your life. Therefore depression could be like a fail-safe mechanism that prevents us being biased by our sensations of rewards. Our rationality supercedes our emotions in depression where we must find ways to be cognitively relaxed without the influence of external happiness. Depression forces us to either strengthen our current mindset or else to change our personality. Depression can reassure us because if we're able to defeat the enemy within us then we'll be able to take on any challenge outside us.

Edited by Michael McMahon
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I can speak from personal experience on this matter because I was suicidaly depressed in my early 20s during my final year of my BVSc degree. I would say that I had not been coping socially over a period of years, and had been covering up my feelings of inadequacy with great difficulty.

Life was simply not making any sense to me. It wasn’t that I was a failure. I was dux of my Primary Shool and Central School, and passed my secondary education with Honours in every subject. I had earned School Swimming Colours for winning a couple of races at Melbourne Inter-High School Championships, and subsequently was awarded a sydney University ‘Blue’ for Australian Rules Football.

But one day when I was home on my own. I’d had enough and went to get my .22 rifle and actually took the first few steps to retrieve it and shoot myself. But then the mental picture of my mother coming home from work and finding my dead body, deterred me. I had empathy for the situation I would be forcing on her.

I couldn’t go to a doctor, because the procedure in the early 1950s was to put you in a mental asylum, and I could not think of a single person, including my parents, that I respected enough to share my problem.

I vaguely decided that I must had had a brain overload of some kind and decided to just lie on my bed as often as I could and consciously attempt to think of nothing. I did not read newspapers or books or listen to the radio or participate in discussions on anything. It seemed to help, but like Stringy-Junky, I had periods of depression on and off for decades.

I felt that I must have been lacking in some essential brain metabolite or something. My mother knew nothing about nutrition, and while I was away from home doing the Veterinary degree, the main food I could afford was fish and chips. Some years ago, I saw some references to folic acid and folinic acid and commenced taking 800 micrograms of the latter most days.

Bouts of depression have virtually disappeared to the point where at times I get the impression that I’m a pain-in-the-arse to some people.

I realize that there are many forms of depression and that mine was but one form, but if you are interested in folinic acid and depression, this 2022 review is up-to-date -- Lam et al (2022; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221013287) in The potential use of folate and its derivatives in treating psychiatric disorders: A systematic review

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16 hours ago, Doogles31731 said:

I can speak from personal experience on this matter because I was suicidally depressed in my early 20s during my final year of my BVSc degree.

Thank you for sharing that. It was very honest of you. That's terrible how you felt so bad. 

 

16 hours ago, Doogles31731 said:

It wasn’t that I was a failure.

Depression doesn't have to be about personal failure or social rejection. Perhaps it could concern a perceived failure or a simple failure to find a purpose to your day. Sometimes it might actually be the absurdity of success that could trigger depression. Accomplishing your life goals would mean that you'd have to find new life goals to allay the boredom. This is one reason why sports stars keep competing after their sport's retirement age. Sometimes it's the difficulty and pessimism of the challenge that paradoxically creates adrenaline and excitement. 

https://believeperform.com/life-after-sport-depression-in-retired-athletes/

 

16 hours ago, Doogles31731 said:

the procedure in the early 1950s was to put you in a mental asylum

That's the downside of involuntary admissions where it might deter a few people getting help if they feel like their freedom will be reduced. I understand that some patients might be unable to make a reasonable decision if they're suffering psychosis and so they might benefit from a mandatory stay at hospital. Although not all suicidal ideation is a result of psychosis. Sometimes it might occur simply due to mental pain. A patient with anxiety might not be so mentally impaired and irrational as to require coercion to get treatment. For instance outdoor activities during the day might be reduced under involuntary confinement which might be counterproductive for certain patients. 

 

16 hours ago, Doogles31731 said:

I could not think of a single person, including my parents, that I respected enough to share my problem.

That's a pity but thankfully most people are very receptive to the topic of mental illness these days.

 

17 hours ago, Doogles31731 said:

a brain overload of some kind

A lot of problems could be described like that where our problems overwhelm us!

 

17 hours ago, Doogles31731 said:

Some years ago, I saw some references to folic acid and folinic acid and commenced taking 800 micrograms of the latter most days.

Our nutrition can certainly affect our mood. If we overeat we might feel sluggish or if we're hungry then we might become inattentive. Dining can also be a social activity when we eat with others at the dinner table. Cooking can also be a great hobby and it can be rewarding to see other people enjoy what you prepared for them. I remember being at an outpatient facility where we each had one day of the week to cook everyone's food. Nutrition might not be the source of everyone's depression but if improving your diet works for you then that's obviously great.  

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Thanks for the sympathy Michael McMahon. Fortunately depression is now past history for me personally, but I sympathize with anyone suffering from 'The Black Dog'.

My main purpose in writing was to establish my credentials for saying anything about the subject, and more particularly to suggest a supplement that may act as a specific preventative of depression as a reason for suicide.

Folinic acid is available over the counter, relatively safe to take, cheap, and the results of the review I provided in my last post (2022 and up-to-date) suggest that "The most consistent finding association of oral levomefolic acid or 5-methylfolate with improvement in clinical outcomes in mental health conditions as mentioned above, especially in major depressive disorder (including postpartum and post-menopausal depression), schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar affective disorder. Folate supplements were well tolerated." 

A search of Google Scholar under Folinic Acid Side Effects, produced papers dealing with its ability to counteract side effects of other drugs. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Doogles31731 said:

Thanks for the sympathy Michael McMahon. Fortunately depression is now past history for me personally, but I sympathize with anyone suffering from 'The Black Dog'.

My main purpose in writing was to establish my credentials for saying anything about the subject, and more particularly to suggest a supplement that may act as a specific preventative of depression as a reason for suicide.

Folinic acid is available over the counter, relatively safe to take, cheap, and the results of the review I provided in my last post (2022 and up-to-date) suggest that "The most consistent finding association of oral levomefolic acid or 5-methylfolate with improvement in clinical outcomes in mental health conditions as mentioned above, especially in major depressive disorder (including postpartum and post-menopausal depression), schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar affective disorder. Folate supplements were well tolerated." 

A search of Google Scholar under Folinic Acid Side Effects, produced papers dealing with its ability to counteract side effects of other drugs. 

 

 

Vit B complex for me. Folic acid is just the synthetic version of folinic acid. Vitamin D might help as well, especially for those where sunlight is at a premium in the winter.

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Thanks for that info StringyJunky.

Most vitamin B Complexes contain Folic Acid (B9), which, as far as I can glean, requires a gene labelled something like MTHFR to convert it into folinic acid, which again in turn, requires a degree of further methylation to be become active and to cross the blood-brain barrier. So B-Complex could be useful.

Obviously B-Complex is a start, but in my own case, I thought I would cover all bases by supplementing with the biological product next along from folic acid (folinic acid), just in case the enzyme produced by the MTHFR gene was not functioning properly.

I'm lucky in that my vitamin D is high without supplementation (70s), but I also believe that everybody should take steps to ensure that their vitamin D status is adequate, because of it's necessity for overall health status. I can elaborate if anyone is interested, but it's a bit off topic. 

 

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I get occasional visits from the black dog.  From personal experience, and observation, I would say vitamin D is a help (winters can be quite intense here, so the need is there).  B complex helps some - had a relative who found them very stabilizing of mood. (He had had alcohol issues, so I think B12 was particularly helpful in his case)  I also am impressed by the therapeutic value of humor (UK and Upside-down people feel free to add a "u"). 

I was recently listing funny moments from film/tv with an online group which was assembling a sort of antidepressant viewing regimen, everything from Buster Keaton and the Marx brothers, to Seinfeld and the Coen brothers.  What was interesting was how we all found that simple recollection, alone, was quite a mood elevator.  And it's often material that is quite silly (M Python, e.g.) and/or quite transgressive, that sticks in the mind and produces belly laughs.  One should not shy away from the low brow (Three Stooges, Abbot and Costello, e.g.) just because it lacks sophistication.  The monumental idiocy of Otto in "A Fish Called Wanda," or the campfire flatulence scene in "Blazing Saddles," often have powerful antidepressant qualities that witty repartee may lack.  I remember laughing insanely at Eric Idle's famous reply in MPatHG, when someone asks how he could tell Arthur was a king.  "He hasn't got s-t all over him."  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/19/2022 at 2:51 AM, TheVat said:

I get occasional visits from the black dog.

The unconscious mind is the foundation of our conscious emotions. They're built on top of one another rather than being side by side. Therefore if the unconscious mind experiences conflicting emotions then the top layer of our conscious mind will sink with it. Even if our conscious mind is coherent, it still can't sustain itself without a clear bedrock. Perhaps depression is like an earthquake tremor coming from those metaphysical fissures in our unconscious existence.

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  • 2 months later...

"DIGNITAS procures the necessary medication for this, a lethal, fast-acting and completely painless barbiturate which is dissolved in ordinary drinking water. After taking it, the patient falls asleep within a few minutes, after which sleep passes peacefully and completely painlessly into death."

http://www.dignitas.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20&lang=en

 

I'm not too sure if a particular type of death can be guaranteed to be painless. Without bringing up the dilemma of life after death there might be some kind of spiritual awareness when the mind separates from the brain during death. Both the fear in the hours before the process of euthanasia of what the anaesthetic will eventually lead to and also the risk of a lucid moment of awareness when the organs fail during sleep could all be worries with this form of death. Euthansia during sleep might feel like life-support being removed from a long-term comatose patient. Perhaps there might be a subjective element to it where some people may perceive one form of euthanasia to be less traumatic even though others could find it even more painful. Placebos and nocebos have a psychological effect and whether they work for death anxiety is unclear since by definition no one can survive to let us know. We all have different life experiences and unique fears which means the degree to which euthanasia is less painful than a typical suicide is not fully clear. It's theoretically possible that someone in shock could voluntarily hold their breath long enough to die even without external tools but whether that's feasible for a semi-conscious person on life support is uncertain given their neurological, instinctive fear of death. 

 

Definition: "The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo effect. It describes a situation where a negative outcome occurs due to a belief that the intervention will cause harm."

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  • 2 months later...

Capitalism works by voluntary reward for work rather than active punishment for underworking. It's true that poor people are to some extent passively penalised by a lack of resources but technically they're not deprived in a coercive fashion. In other words they're not being put in detention for a lack of homework but rather they miss out on opportunities due to a lack of wealth. At least that's the economic theory even if it's not the reality for those who are exploited in sweat shops in the third world. Anyway my point of comparison when it comes to suicide is that people are free to reward to their heart's content those who live with physical disabilities, terminally ill patients or mentally ill individuals who manage to avoid suicide. It's a free country and if you don't want to commemorate suicide victims then no one can stop you. However actively condemning suicide victims crosses the line in my opinion.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/9/2022 at 7:07 PM, Michael McMahon said:

Capitalism works by voluntary reward for work rather than active punishment for underworking. It's true that poor people are to some extent passively penalised by a lack of resources but technically they're not deprived in a coercive fashion. In other words they're not being put in detention for a lack of homework but rather they miss out on opportunities due to a lack of wealth. At least that's the economic theory even if it's not the reality for those who are exploited in sweat shops in the third world. Anyway my point of comparison when it comes to suicide is that people are free to reward to their heart's content those who live with physical disabilities, terminally ill patients or mentally ill individuals who manage to avoid suicide. It's a free country and if you don't want to commemorate suicide victims then no one can stop you. However actively condemning suicide victims crosses the line in my opinion.

Agreed. Active compassion more consistently applied works wonders. 

I think so many suicides could could avoided if we could be more compassionate in our interactions with each other in general. I mean hell, reading the first page of this thread makes me more empathetic with others whom struggle with suicidal ideation. 

I feel a contributing factor, is an emotional death by a thousand cuts type situation. Few people with a callous lack of compassion intend to cause someone to commit suicide, but who knows if you're going to be the person dealing out the 1000th cut or the straw that breaks the camels back. 

On social media and other written forms of communication, the problem is made worse because a screen depersonalises and dehumanises people in a very literal way. Even if we are consciously aware that we are in fact speaking to another human being, subconsciously we are aware that we seem to just be typing inputs into a screen. Which lowers a lot of inhibitions. The sort of interactions people have on social media, are often times very different than the interactions you will have in person and have a tendency to be much more harmful for your mental health, in their consistency to be brutal. 

I've actually spoken to a few mental health professionals about this, and even prior to the internet, one of the barriers to effective mental health treatment is how hostile our society can be to the mentally ill. Sometimes you feel like you might as well just have a physical open wound and that people might as well just poke their fingers into the wound whenever you speak. At least that way you'll actually have an infection instead of feeling like you have one and are being treated like you are one. 

Some might say it isn't our job to figure out how to communicate with the mentally ill. Yet most people here probably at least know someone whom is mentally ill and a few of us here most definitely are mentally ill. So it might not be most people's job, but I feel like there is a need for it to become a core life skill. 

I've had people tell me that I should not be on social media since it is bad for my mental health. It seems to me like it's bad for almost everyone's mental health, in how it makes us feel, what it makes us willing to say to each other and how it makes us choose to communicate with each other. 

I mean you don't even need to have a mental illness to feel like being on social media is emotionally demanding and trying. I'm sure for some it can straight up make people who weren't mentally ill before, mentally ill after enough of the typical shitty interactions we often get from it. Save the brutal honesty for the mentally ill whom are actually incarcerated for brutal crimes like rape, child abuse, murder etc. But even then, leave it to the professionals. If brutal honesty is like a scalpel and to be used to help someone, let's make sure it's just the professionals using it and not any Tom, Dick or Harry who happens to walk by. For those who take it seriously enough, to be worried about making it worse if they say the wrong thing, start and finish the interaction with consistent compassion and empathy. Don't give advice, don't tell them to seek mental health treatment. Ask them if they have thought about mental health treatment. Find out if there are some kind of barriers to them gaining treatment. If there are, share information about charities that can help. If they are willing to be vulnerable with you, be willing to be vulnerable with them back. 

This advice does help. This is what I did when my friend B, (Just the first initial, respecting their privacy) a schizophrenic, was having an episode and was getting quite aggressive and had completely disassociated with who she was at that time. At that point, this is where being willing to be vulnerable calmed her down... don't do that with a sadist though. Never be vulnerable to a sadist. Dont show fear, act like you enjoy it, this riles them up and confuses them, it makes them sloppy, you attack quickly and decisively when they make a mistake, gtfo and call the police. 

If there is ever a time when you feel suicidal or just want a compassionate conversation about whatever the hell you want; message me. This applies to everyone. The least I can be for people, is someone who doesn't want you to be gone from this world. So don't hesitate to get in touch.

 

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