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Ivan Ana-Maria

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How do you actually cope with depression?

I have read some of the debates on 'depression' posted here and contextualized according to the author's experience and interest in a particular issue.
My question, though, comes from underneath possible references and eventual scientific explanations. It is a puerile question inspired by my recent intellectual and existential lethargy and it is an attempt to reach out and try to discuss it with those who have been through a similar situation.
Although I have experienced depression in the past, it strikes me now in a rather inappropriate moment. Depression is never welcome, I know, but I am also trying to see its self-revelatory side, the 'good one', the possible 'fruits' of an unpleasant emotional exploration.
May one actually learn from this? I acknowledge the inherent process of learning about yourself, about acting in a certain way when recognizing your weakness, your impotence. But is there really a 'good' side to depression?

I am now fighting my own monsters, so to speak, while I feel that my life has been put on hold, indefinitely. I am in my final year of master studies and what I am facing now is more than a banal writer's block, it is a paralyzing fear of the future that might prevent me from completing my studies on time (something I can hardly afford).
And therefore I must ask how does one cope with this? I agree with Tina Moore's idea that finding your way out of this emotional abyss is a highly individual process, then how did you overcome it? I am sure that one can learn from this simple act of sharing experiences.
I am afraid that this discussion is initially not based on some academic interest, but I welcome any ideas and suggestions that could shed some light on how to deal with this problem, maybe in a more creative way than in a traditional one.


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  • Jul 2 2012: I too am at the final stage of my master's, having taken time off since April last year. I have suffered from depression on & off since at least my mid-twenties, but have had lengthy periods of remission during which I accomplished a lot. I find these days that I need to keep taking my anti depressants, varying the dose with my everyday functional state. I currently have a psychiatrist who has helped me several times. She is trying to attack my melancholia from several angles at the same time using different means, Therefore, besides the anti depressants (which used to give me moderate nasty side effects, but which I am determined to persist), I have been thoroughly assessed physically & biochemically so that I now take low dose thyroxine for Hashimoto's disease, Vitamin D3 for a huge deficiency, plus omega-3 fish oil 15 to 20mls per day (liquid, not capsules). I keep my coffee consumption to a minimum as it tends to make my head buzz with the antidepressants, I restrict wine to times when I am feeling OK & only drink the occasional beer which dosen't interfere with my mood. I exercise at least 20 mins aerobically as many days as I can, with 1 hour of aquarobics once to twice per week, walking for 1 hour on most days or getting on a "rock climber" machine. I've been "prescribed" socialising at least every second day- talking to store personnel is counted as socialising! I organise snacks and lunch with friends as often as I can and try to take part in community activities, eg. Google Photo Walks etc. I have many online friends as well as quite a few real-life friends whom I stay in touch with, no matter what I feel on the day. I have had hand/wrist arthritis treated with cuffs & flexible splints plus isometric exercises so I can remain functional & must keep any pain controlled using simple drugs, not codeine or NSAIDS. I have had to swallow my pride and ask for help with anything I find painful, eg. chopping hard vegetables, lifting anything heavier than a plate.

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