Author Topic: Depression  (Read 7839 times)

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Offline Calaquendi

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Depression
« on: January 09, 2010, 08:46:52 PM »
Hello friends - I've been considering writing this thread and how to write it for some time. Finally it came to me the only way to do it was to DO IT, so here goes...

Many if not all of us (people) struggle with depression from time to time, some 'worse' than others. Since this board consists of a group of people bound together by the desire/need to better themselves - and do so by 'alternative' means, it seemed appropriate to have this discussion here among you all. I'd like to know some of your opinions and ideas, even experiences with this elusive syndrome. I have been dealing with it to varying degrees as long as I can remember. As a child and throughout adolescence most of it was 'circumstantial' until I developed the preconceptions and habits that afford me the chronic symptoms I exhibit as an adult. Addiction may be born out of chronic depression and/or vice versa. I guess it seldom matters where or how one 'got there'....only what to do now?

This time of year makes it harder for some, myself included. I look forward to good weather again. I'm not sure exactly where I wanted to go with this thread, maybe it will take it's own course. Maybe this is just a soliloquy.

I do know that it hurts, and it can be downright dangerous. After I flooded with iboga last Easter, I hadn't felt like that EVER in my adult life, and I haven't felt like that since. I had a solid 90 days with which to build good habits, etc. I began great but slowly fell back in to old patterns. That won't happen again. Iboga is a miracle, and not to be taken lightly, I plan on another deep session in the springtime - this time learning from previous mistakes and moving forward with more care and diligence. It seems I haven't exactly said what I thought I wanted to, but you know, sometimes you just have to open the door, and let things flow...the door's open.
" I am you and what I see is me..."

Offline Calaquendi

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Re: Depression
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 09:22:05 PM »
Hate to double post, but something just struck me that Nobunoni said (I think) - about how the vast majority of depressions are "cognitive". I agree totally. But even in those cases if people have been used to bad habits or unhealthy relationships long enough, maybe that does something inside us - biochemically? Eboka went straight to work on me. I heard high pitched 'whirring' that I clearly perceived as the stuff 'working' on me....'fixing' the synapses and any other electro- chemical hoopla that I would not be able to do simply with cognitive changes....Although I do think cognitive therapies are generally overlooked in favor of the quick fix that Western medicine is so fond of. SSRI/SNRI drugs by the kilo ton...

Change is always difficult. But I am certainly of the opinion that these symptoms are by and large cognitive in nature...I think that's a good insight. That would leave us with the enormous word "responsibility" yes? Big word...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 01:31:04 PM by calaquendi »
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fallout330

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Re: Depression
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 01:07:33 PM »
Great topic to start Cal! This has been a very big issue for myself along with the lingering desire to escape with alcohol......no doubt they go hand in hand.  I have never gone through an iboga/ibogaine session, so I will certainly take your word in regards to it's positive effect on depression symptoms.  I now agree that most depression does have roots in a negatively played out cognitive source, but eventually if left long enough, it will ingrain itself and effect one's mind in a rooted neuochemical pattern, which then becomes very hard to overcome alone.  In short, it seems like depression and even addiction itself is a very complex combination of cognitive/psychological and neurochemical/Psychiatric effects and causes....all speculation of course from what I have experienced and learned  :D

I was recently on Pristiq(Desvenlafaxine) from June '08 until Nov '08 and do admit that there was a very noticeable improvement in my overall mood and outlook such as past interests coming back and being able to motivate myself somewhat better.  One point that Nganga mentioned, was that SSRI/SNRI's can limit your creativity and one's true self in one sense....you become somewhat less "feeling and emotional".  It will usually cover up any sources and pain that may be causing emotional disturbance, so this may be a negative and positive at the same time.  This might be an option if one has no other choice due to these types of medications usually being free of charge though local mental health services/clinics.  I can say that this usually would not be considered a healing process but rather a coping method.

Currently I am taking 200mg 5-HTP along with starting Rhodiola Rosea Extract coming this week.  The B vitamins seem to help with energy levels. Vitamin D is also thrown in there for cognitive function.  Caffeine sure does help in the morning!  I also have a cup of Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea or real Kava root in the evenings, which always helps in soothing the mind.  The things that have helped me have been exercise, family, good music, online gaming, reading meaningful books, beading, corresponding and reading forums like this one.  I realize the effects of these methods are not on the same level as a pharmaceutical SSRI/SNRI, but it is a beginning for myself.

The biggest issue I'm actually dealing with at this time is the irritability toward my family.  I seem to prefer solitude and quiet environments for the moment.  This is not a constant issue, but it does vary from day to day.  One thing I did notice with Pristiq, is that the irritability was gone and I was not bothered by much of anything, which I saw as the most positive result, not to mention my wife felt the same :D. I hope I can attain the same using a more natural alternative route.  I have to admit that I do have Pristiq to fall back on if needed, I do hope that won't be necessary.

I wish you well and internal peace Cal as well as anyone dealing with this issue!
  
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 01:09:14 PM by fallout330 »

Offline Calaquendi

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Re: Depression
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 01:57:47 PM »
Thanks for your input fallout, I was hesitant to start this thread for various reasons. I realize depression affects millions of people, and IMO a culture such as ours that worships youth, wealth and generally has a backward value system fosters these feelings in many of us.

For many years I have dealt with this to different degrees of severity and this time of year all I want to do is fucking hibernate. I read somewhere that women are more likely to be depressed than men, though for the life of me I do not see this in 'real life'. Either that or the women I know have different, perhaps superior coping mechanisms? The women I have been close with in my life are the strongest human beings I have ever known. My mother raised four of us- alone-...how in the world she did it is a complete mystery to me.

I do not like to talk about this, at the risk of sounding like a cry baby or some "woe is me" crap....again I am well aware many suffer these problems. I am grateful to have others' opinions and insights on this subject. I too, at several points over the last decade have been prescribed various SSRI/SNRI drugs to help me with depression. Some worked better than others, but most worked to some degree. Again what Nobu said about lack of feeling and a loss in creative impetus stands true - that, and I just don't want to HAVE to take something. Rather if I do I want it to be natural and temporary...I like your ideas about 5HTP and I have personally used Rhodiola for a brief time....that's good stuff. How is the 5 HTP working for you? Do you find that an effective combination?

I look at the 'list' of things to do a friend made me for after my iboga journey...for whatever reasons I guess I thought those things only applied in an ephemeral sense: to be used temporarily to help get me over the hump of iboga fatigue and settle back, as it were, to 'real' life. But as I review the list, they are things which make perfect sense to do ALL the time. Good ideas for building good habits. Things like - take hot baths, stretch every day, (mild) excercise, listen to music, eat well, etc. All these things are endorphin producing and will have a cumulative effect on our psyche as well as our biology. For me, it's getting my ass out from under the blankets...letting the light in...getting and staying motivated.

Thanks again fallout - peace brother!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 07:34:24 PM by calaquendi »
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fallout330

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Re: Depression
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 05:51:33 PM »
Very true about the backward value system that is prevalent in this culture, it really does add to the possibility of a let down and depression symptoms....probably one of the big reasons why many psychotropic pharmaceuticals are over-prescribed no doubt!  In regards to woman, I heard that estrogen is possibly a great help against depression, so I wouldn't be surprised if women do cope with depression better than men.  You mother certainly must have been strong emotional.

5-HTP is said to be effective in the 300-600mg daily range and possibly even higher.  I have not started Rhodiola just yet.  5-HTP does work different than SSRI/SNRI's from what I understand.  5-HTP basically increases serotonin levels while the SSRI/SNRI's change the process in which the serotonin and norepinephine receptors re-uptake the actual chemicals, so actually very limited brain chemicals wasted, as the stuff that would usually be wasted, is reprocessed/re-uptaked....certainly not a natural process, but if one needs it, It should usually be effective.  I"m curious how iboga fixes or renews this process, if anything at all.

Other alternative choices I've read about, but have not tried yet is Phenylalanine, Tyrosine and SAM(S-Adenosyl-Methionine) not sure how effective these are or the possibilities.  St John's Wort is another herb I've tried years ago, but I really don't know how effective it was.  There seems to have been a few studies in the past, where some results have showed it was effective and some did not, so I"m not certain on this one, but it may be worth another for myself.

Keep letting the light in, great first step!  Peace Cal!

Offline Calaquendi

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Re: Depression
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 02:31:16 PM »
Thanks again fallout - I've been prodding my ass out of this shell systematically so I'm sure it's only a matter of time and developing healthier habits. This just has never ceased to amaze me. There could be absolutely nothing 'wrong' and still these symptoms will manifest. Strange and curious...
" I am you and what I see is me..."

Offline Eon T McKnight

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Re: Depression
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 01:06:00 AM »
Cal & Fallout,

Thanks for you thoughts and desire to help your fellow H. sapiens var. iboganaisis.  (cute?  moi?)

Seriously, though, I just read about some research that links childhood experiences with receptor density in the adult brain.  They got their data from autopsies of suicides.  Now there's a group that's gotta be pretty freakin depressed, no?

Bein' the freakin depressed freak that I am, my thoughts eventually passed through Eboka-land.

Seems to me, that's why we are here  --  on the Forum, I mean.

We were depressed, felt like shit, hurt, suffered, whatever.  We tried some shit, legal or not, and it worked like shit in the long term.  Why?

Because we never addressed the problem.  Because we never addressed it, we never cured it.

That, to me, is a huge part of the promise of Eboka.  Put on my hip waders and go after that rotten shite.  Right?

But what is really cool is that it will scrub my rascally receptors 'till they're squeaky clean and give me a running start on being happy.  Right?

It don't come without work and some help, but it will come, I believe.

Somehow, for whatever reason, from whatever cause, there are helpers for us.  Eboka is one.  You two are too.

Thanks,

Eon

fallout330

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Re: Depression
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, 11:49:29 AM »
Interesting study there Eon.  Although I don't know if you could apply that to everyone.  I'm know many have gone though horrible and nightmarish childhoods and come out very emotional strong and stable in the end, so it seems that there must be some very complex mechanisms going on in the mind that vary from person to person to hand a result of later behavior and emotional state.

Thanks Eon, peace!

Offline Eon T McKnight

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Re: Depression
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 02:05:12 PM »
Yeah, Fallout, even though there are some who would like us to line up, like rows of corn, and behave as they want, everyone is different.  What breaks one person might make another stronger and might be ignored by a third.

Seems to me that there are two ways  --  two methods, two routes  --  in which we can cure ourselves of many ills, including depression.

The external and the internal.

The external:  Doctors, nurses, scientists, lawyers, police, prisons, drugs, shrinks, technology, fookin politicians, etc.

The internal:  You yourself and nobody else.

In Theory:  People that are not operating perfectly can be corrected by external means.  The right stimulus.  The right drug.  A surgical procedure, the right situation comedy on prime-time tv, etc.

In Theory:  We each have the capability of tweaking ourselves to a huge extent.

Eboka, along with a few other notables such as peyote, is said to work via both modes.  It is an external agent with beneficial actions on our bodies and nervous system.  It is also an aid to internal self-adjustment.

The problem with Eboka is the cost.  I'm not talking only $$$s here, I'm talking about the commitment, the time, the danger, the ordeal, the difficulty.  (On the other hand, some of those costs may actually be part of the means of its effectiveness... )

Surely, there must be other agents out there that work both externally and externally.  Agents that are far more accessible to a far greater range of individuals.

Suggestions?

~eon

fallout330

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Re: Depression
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 03:56:59 PM »
Perfectly said there Eon, I have no argument there! Very complex and unique beings these Homo sapiens are!

Offline Eon T McKnight

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Re: Depression
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 04:44:52 PM »
Hey Fallout,

I've been mulling over a response to your previous posts on the subject of depression in hopes of distilling something from my experience that will be helpful.  To get the ball rolling, I'm going to start out with stuff that is easy for me to express.

Go to your doctor or shrink and say "I'm self-medicating" and watch the fireworks!  They don't (often) come right out and say "You silly, ignorant, deluded imbecile!" but I'm sure that's exactly what they're thinking.  I'm guessing that they think it's an example of profound hubris to suggest that you, a mere mortal, could ever understand the things that they do.

Fuck them and the Mercedes they rode in on!

Seems to me, the very best patient is one who takes ownership of the healing process  --  one who makes a substantial and sincere effort to become well.

While some efforts at self-help may indeed be misguided  --  setting you own broken arm or doing your own appendectomy spring to mind  --  the area of psychological ills is different from other areas of medicine.  So, I'm just going to address the psychological arena here.

Just take one of those quizzes to determine if you are depressed.  Sleep too much, can't sleep, eat too much, can't eat  --  this sure doesn't sound like a single ailment to me.  The docs and ourselves have lumped a bunch of symptoms into one steaming bag and have termed that bag 'depression'.

Hence, I laud your efforts to take control of your mental health.  (Of course I would, since I am trying to do the same thing myself.)

I have experimented with 'precursor therapy'  --  i.e. making substantial quantities of  precursors to desired neurochemicals available to increase production within the body.  While first considered hokum, it is now established as a means to elevate the levels of some neurochemicals.

Since so many docs rely on their co-enabling relationship with big pharma to ensure their lofty status, it is doubtful if precursor therapy will ever gain their unqualified support as have the often worthless and possibly harmful SSRI/SNRIs.  It would undoubtedly be a different story if some drug company could patent 5-HTP or phenylalanine.

Tis most unfortunate that in our health care 'system' greed is too often the basis for decisions instead of compassion.

Two final thoughts to this post:

1)  Know thyself;

2)  If you're working with precursor therapy, be certain that therapeutic amino acids and the like are only taken on a completely empty stomach with water (or sublingually) and no food is consumed for one hour after.

Your Friendly Co-conspirator,  eon

fallout330

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Re: Depression
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 10:43:06 AM »
Very well put Eon!  I have to say that the one thing I have noticed the most is the "friendly" relationship with the big Pharm's and Psychiatrists, when it comes to treatment of many of the emotional/mental ailments.  I am currently implementing a form of precursor therapy using 5-HTP, Rhodiola and additional vitamins, so I appreciate the information at the end. Things have been manageable with this regime alone, so I am certain I will continue this route without the aid of SSRI/SNRI's. 

Take Care

Offline Calaquendi

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Re: Depression
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 04:45:21 PM »
Great post Eon, you echo my own thoughts...

fallout - how long have you been taking this regimen you speak of?  I've used Rhodiola for short 'bursts' mainly after my first iboga flood and I was convinced it worked as an adaptogen. Some things I've read about it online included it's purported efficacy in 'realigning' opiate receptor sites....whatever that means. This attracted me though, as I was on a mission to kill that part of my chemistry. Whether I experienced this as placebo-effect or the real thing is hard to tell. I am real interested in your experiences with this man. The combination of materials in your regimen sounds very intriguing - love to know more!
" I am you and what I see is me..."

fallout330

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Re: Depression
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2010, 11:01:26 PM »
I've been on 5-HTP for about one month now and just started Rhodiola on Wednesday.  I will have to update you on this at a later time in order to have a better perspective on it's effects.

Take Care!

Offline Calaquendi

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Re: Depression
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2010, 11:59:36 PM »
thanks fallout!
" I am you and what I see is me..."