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Brian R Light

Chairman, Salon Communications Inc.

TEDCRED 30+

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Is there a simple remedy to counter depression

I have Primary Progressive MS. There is no cure, not even any medical treatment. In spite of trying a ton of off label stuff so far progression has been unstoppable. I have lost the use of my legs, I am in chronic pain, my hands and abdominals are failing, I am now extremely temperature sensitive and more, modesty forbids I discuss.

Yet, I am happy. When the darkness comes and it does, I ask myself "Do you like it here?" I can now scape those unwanted emotions off in hours. I lost my beloved volley ball, running and biking but best not to hang on. There is always a better place than depression. My mantra is "Next".

My idea is try using KISS.

I concede we all need love and attention to help us along but if you are short just go to an old age home and ask if some one wants a game of checkers. Faces of people with amazing stories to tell will alight.

Faith, professionals, books etc. can all be great but my contention is there is no need for complexity here.

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  • Apr 22 2012: HI.
    I used to take care of a man who was paralyzed from the neck down. It happened when he was sixteen.
    One morning I thought I had hurt him when putting on his brace and he gently reminded me not to worry, that he can't feel anything. In that moment I was glad I could feel pain. That you see was a problem for me. I have so much pain in my body from so much abuse and injuries starting when I was 6 months of age. I'm sick of it, yet on that morning, I became grateful again. I stray away from remaining grateful from time to time; being grateful for what was taken from me, what was given to me and what was left to me.

    One day he told me that when it happened he knew immediately that he was paralyzed for life. What he next told me stunned me and has since always helped me in my life.

    He accepted it. I thought about that. I know from personal experience that acceptance always brings me peace and on those days or those times when I find it difficult to accept, I can practice tolerance. So, I thought about it and realized that at some point he must have gotten angry, resistant to his condition and may have somehow wanted to reverse it, remember his youth and all that. Then I realized what acceptance really did for him. It was his saving grace because no matter what, he could not go back on it, he could not take it back and it made it easier to go forward. Today, he lives a very good and full life. Much better than mine actually, and that is really true.

    The second thing I know that always works for me, whether intentionally done or not (it just happens) is to not think about myself. When I think about myself, then I become important, and afraid, and then miserable and depressed.

    I know it must be very difficult for you. I will add this: being human is really a fellowship of the spirit - whatever that is - but that means to me that though we may not meet, some of us now go with you in spirit.
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    Apr 26 2012: It has been awhile since I looked at this and a big thank you to all who have commented. Having real people speak from the heart is all I could ask and I note how gentle everyone has been. Perhaps there is a lesson there. If everyone considered for a moment that each of us is severely disabled then perhaps there would be less attack and more empathy?
    To those who have asked me to consider faith, holistic healing or that perhaps i should not believe everything the doctors are saying please know that I have traveled many paths that stray quite a distance from traditional medicine. Regarding God I am not against the idea, have given him room and still do. My years of wrestling with the issue has led to an evidence based inquiry. We decide on such things and for me to make such a decision any faith must have had it's beliefs pass a double blind controlled muster. None have. I am open and accept the decisions of others but as to helping with my nerve damage or emotions, I follow another path.
    This is not to say I buy every thing traditional medicine has to say. i have done 3 vein surgeries, stem cell and other pill remedies. Currently, I have completely changed my diet to a paleolithic one and i exercise as much as i am able.
    The game is far from over. It is just on the nerve front, I keep declining. So far the doctors have been right.
    As to emotions, I should be clearer. My remedy will not work for everyone. Many people have chemical problems and and not situational ones. As I appear to have found with my nerves not everything is a choice. We are given the task of doing as best we can.
    Oh, Who is giving me the task? Who is my God right now? "The Random Universe." Did something set up it's fractal nature allowing for life and eventually all of us? Each of us, held in our entirety, to be loved and to be judged. Perhaps in the distant future that when we got there would seem as if no time had past? It would be nice.
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    Apr 24 2012: Hello Brian,

    For some fascinating reason I read your note and felt compelled to search about your symptoms and write to you from the heart.
    First, congratulations for all you are doing to get better no matter what. That means your spirit still want to be here.
    Secondly, the fact that you are convinced there is NO CURE, this is it! There WON’T BE INDEED. But if you just create a little tinning point of doubt in your mind there MIGHT be something science has not yet discovered about it, we might help you to FIND CURE OR ALIVIATE this problem and help thousands in the future.
    For what I read clinic medicine hasn’t yet found a logic explanation for PPMS therefore I am hopping this could be something rooted in the blocked emotions you might have accumulated within your energy channels (Chakras) that need to be cleaned up. There is a holistic emotional treatment called D.E.R.B. (Deep Emotional Release Bodywork) that did wonders for me and many clients of mine in the past. Therefore I suggest you to look for a holistic healer in Canada that might help you with this.

    I wish from the bottom of my heart recovery for you and would love to know your improvement throughout your journey if you open to it.

    L.)
  • Apr 22 2012: I am only 22, and I had been in a major depression from when I was 15-21. Until recently I was consumed by sadness, self loathing, arrogance, ignorance, I pushed people away. I was rude, cruel, and destructive but things changed. I honestly feel that some of my depression was caused by my poor dental health, I had a cracked open molar with a decaying root and no money to get it fixed, for over 2 years I had an exposed root. As my personal health increased my depression shed, but my health alone was not enough. I found that perspective is also an incredible way to change everything, absolutely everything. I was introduced to MJ for the first time and with the help of The Cosmos on netflix I began to mold how i see the world into my now vastly happier and content view of reality, my place in the universe, and began my education. I also found that Juicing is an incredibly good way to get out of a funk. something about drinking the raw energy of the sun's cosmic presence fills me with life.
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    R H 20+

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    Apr 22 2012: From what I know about 'depression' I understand that it is not a 'choice'. It is not something that one can find 'internal strength' to overcome, or 'talk' away with those less fortunate. My understanding is that people who suffer from 'depression' are not the same as people who 'get depressed' because of an event or occurence in their lives. But I am not an expert. Do you think this is true, that there may be different types of depression?
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    Apr 26 2012: I'm not sure if it will help or not but ask your doctor about Lexapro. I hve been taking it for several years, my wife and I both take it for depression and we are so much more calm and happy now. I know of several friends that take it and it has worked well for them too. God Bless
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      Apr 26 2012: Thanks Don, although doing pretty good on the emotional front. God bless right back. Brian
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    Apr 25 2012: Hi Brian
    wish you all the best I do not know any medicine that suit your case but I know these words which can help
    this does mean we shouldn't use medicine at all but when there is no medicine we shouldn't lose hope

    These words our Prophet Peace be upon him used to say it in tough time

    "There is no god but Allah, the greatest , the forbearing ,There is no god but Allah, Lord of the greatest Throne, There is no god but Allah, the Lord of heaven and earth and Lord of the generous Throne"

    just by repeating these words you can remove your depression
    in The holly Quran " By reciting the name of Allah Hearts will Rest assured"
    listen to this amazing story of Dr. Brown one of the top of American Surgeons and what he did when medicine said there is no cure for your son
    http://www.thedeenshow.com/videos.php?action=featured&id=1102
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      Apr 26 2012: Hi AbdelRahman, Thank you for your kind words and showing me how you can defeat most any concern. I saw the tape and no doubt Dr. Levine has found a peaceful port. It was his journey though and I do not start the journey where he does. I might explain his journey otherwise but dare not. He is happy and safe. I knew Islam was filled with such people and it was good to get his thoughtful perspective.
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    Apr 25 2012: I am sure you are more knowledgable than me regarding your condition. However heard a new medication for MS is available now which sounds like a breakthrough. Can you please ask your doctor if not asked by this time.

    Wish our scientific development will soon bring something more meaningful for you and many more ......
    Have a good day
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      Apr 26 2012: Thanks Salim, I try to be alert but also I have scores of MS patient friends. We have similar but also unique symptom time lines and presentations. The current, 4 different kinds of MS are just names covering very wide spectrums. It's very complex.

      I am a little dubious about the definition of scientific enquiry the neurological community demands. Any new breakthrough will take 5+ years of expensive study before it can be covered, no matter how safe. I am sure most honestly subscribe to to this thinking but It has problems and although few will acknowledge this or that it has any bearing, it's self serving. In the mean, people decline and die.
  • Apr 22 2012: I think the key is not to think through your logical mind on how to counter it. More like settling a muddy water. You just need to let it to settle without forming theories about it.
    Please feel free to comment on it.
    http://ibirth.blogspot.in/2010/07/conscious-mind-honest-interface-battle.html
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    Apr 22 2012: When you said "Yea a keyboard would be nice"

    I thought Ok i'll look online and i searched for an hour but came up zilch(Due to banwidth restrictions)I have a suggestion that you could put to your MS group "Design your own keyboard" since you will be the users you will know what you want and then ask a university to build it or who ever you think will come to the party.

    This may sound patronizing but i thought about what if i had MS,then i thought the longer i can keep communicating with the wider world the better for the human behind the eye's.

    Have you seen this TED

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html

    And heres the result of that failed search

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRj4jK0b_qM&context=C446a321ADvjVQa1PpcFOGnPbJe5FXJTS-Picik3GgP8HWdyd6Hmo=
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    Apr 22 2012: Howdyneighbour? (Etobicoke :)
    Is this MS different than other MS's? Some seem to have been helped by opening the arteries in the neck by a procedure that is, I think so far, not possible in Canada. I do not know what I'm talking about, it is just that I saw this on TV and how some people were very much helped by it.

    Now this is MS. If you're talking specifically about depression there is a whole lot more to it. That has very little to do with the body but everything with the spirit. You are already doing the best possible approach and that is looking outside of yourself to others and helping them.
    I just did a lot of typing to a link that Ken Brown provided (half way down this page) involving suicides. The more we know about what it means to be human and thus spiritual, the better we can control our spiritual environment.

    The people in hell would like nothing more than to get us depressed and sad, possibly to the point of suicide. That is what they love, that's why they are in hell. Only there can people that love to hate others (that's the burning) exist.
    When you're depressed tell those people that cause the feeling to go back to hell! It's as simple as that.

    Some time ago I walked to the post office to mail a letter with money to the grandkids. The thought got into my head to take the money out, use it and no one would be the wiser...
    I knew that it was not ME thinking that. So I chuckled and told the idiots to get lost and stop bothering me. They did go.

    As soon as we know what's ours and what's not, what we have control over and what not, life becomes a lot simpler.
    Unless one has developed MS, how extremely unfortunate! You know the difference. There is someone on Facebook that was born with no arms and no legs, and he is happy.. in fact he is an inspiration for many others.
    ---added
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciYk-UwqFKA
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    Apr 21 2012: Brian

    Here's a link that you might find interesting but it could just confirm the knowledge you already have accumulated over the time you first found out about your MS,Bob posts here on TED aswel.

    http://www.bobvanoosterhout.com/

    I got this link from a conversation by Sarah Boardman-Miller.

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/10914/how_do_you_move_beyond_why_wh.html
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    Apr 20 2012: It sounds like you have found strategies that work for you. But that does not mean the problem of depression is simple or that your strategy will necessarily work for other people!
    Depression absolutely can be life threatening, and I would suggest to anyone afflicted with it to seek professional help in planning a strategy. Depression or dealing with it successfully have nothing to do with strength of character, clarity of thought, or intelligence. There is no shame either in it or in struggling to deal with it.
    It is wonderful that you are succeeding in being happy without anyones help. I would sincerely hope, though, for those with depression to feel absolutely safe and comfortable Asking for Help from people who know what the range of effective options are.
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      Apr 21 2012: Yes, I concede just like MS (and probably every other condition) depression is unique to every individual. I tried professionals and pills and yet it raged.I finally figured i was going through the same process every time new physical deterioration became evident. It was denial, anger, fear, depression, acceptance. Often over lapping. The process would take weeks with long periods of depression. It took years to get my recovery down to hours. I partially beat them back by realizing it was me making the choice to experience those emotions. Now asking myself if this feels good helps me cut the negative emotion time dramatically. You are essentially right however I would be remiss not to correct one thing. I did not do this alone. i have scores of MS patient friends. I go to a support group and we talk about more than depression. For instance, denial can be horrible because i might be denying I am down. On the other hand i made a joke the other day and they all laughed. It was "Thank God for denial". My point with this topic is there can be simple short cuts to scrape them off. I offer my short cut and it works for one guy.
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        Apr 21 2012: Brian, I appreciate your sharing and I think the success you and your support group have had is wonderful. I only worry about people with depression blaming themselves as if their challenges are matters of personal weakness or could be solved simply if only they were as resourceful as someone else and so forth.
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          Apr 21 2012: I hear you. If you anyone out there is in the kind of pain that can not be handled the short way I mean no blame. Quite the opposite. You are not in any way at fault. It could well be chemical so the best bet is to get to a pro, Call a help line. I have seen depression worse than anything I have ever experienced strike the young, healthy and very smart. I beg you to fight but there is no blame or shame in defeat.That happens to and I have been there. This thing can be a toughie.
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    Apr 20 2012: This may help with your chronic pain and will give you a burst of happiness to counter effect the depression.
    There are no adverse effects, it is used in Chinese medicine for as much they can remember and you may find more info on the link below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis
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      Apr 21 2012: Good point and thank you. Been there but use these pills twice a day that generally takes the pain from an intolerable 7 to a manageable 3.
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    Apr 20 2012: This might help before movement becomes impossible if you don't already have one.

    http://www.logitech.com/en-nz/mice-pointers/trackballs/devices/7365

    My only gripe is that there is not enough buttons.
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      Apr 21 2012: Hey, cool. I will probably get one as arms keep going.
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        Apr 21 2012: It's weird but i bought it just to try it out,it's the only piece of tech i have bought that i actually do get a full return on,i can have it on my leg,stomach,chest,in bed,it doesn't matter as only three fingers do all the work,it doesn't require movement.If only i could turn it into a remote aswel.

        Too bad they don't put out the same with a mini keyboard.Oh by the way they are crash resistant so they can take alot of punishment.

        Well, that's enough of me extolling the virtues of a piece of plastic.

        Peace.
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          Apr 21 2012: Yea, a keyboard would be nice. My shaky hands hitting the wrong jeys to often.
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    Apr 20 2012: all i can say is
    'To forget the past live the present and don't think about the future'.
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      Apr 21 2012: Not a bad plan Chetan except the past holds my youth, my first love leading on, my little children, my cherished parents and so much more. The present is rich and full and the future, the future. I have schemes and plans many of which will fall away but some will come alive. It holds adventure.
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    Apr 20 2012: My advise would be to look at things as they are not as they should be. I get the idea you already do this.