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I went through a really bad month or two of terrible depression, suicidal thoughts, the whole nine yards.  A week ago, things started kicking in and I've been feeling good (possibly too good.  My therapist thinks I was manic and may be bipolar).  Starting Saturday my mood and everything started going downhill, and by yesterday, I was feeling bad again, though not as bad as before, and had a couple intrusive thoughts about suicide.  I went to my therapist last night, and she brought up a point I've been thinking about all day.  Can you control your depression?  She said that I probably started feeling bad, so just gave in to it.  That I should fight it, and I wont feel as bad.  She thinks Im getting something out of being depressed, so I just give in and allow it to happen.  I don't think I am.  Im feeling better today, though still not as good as last week.  I will say that Im terrified of feeling that depressed again. 

So, does what she said sound reasonable?  Am I just "giving in"?  I honestly feel like throwing in the towel, but that's another post.

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I have to get going soon, so I don't have time for a really well-thought response, but I wanted to say that I'm listening.  The way your therapist is reacting is the way my mom does.  She thinks I'm just lazy sometimes, and she doesn't understand about feeling so crappy, you can't get out of bed.

I think you have to fight it, and I think fighting it can be very effective, but I don't think you're getting anything out of being depressed.

Just my humble opinion.

~CS

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I think depression is more like the wind, there are some useful things you can do (wear a jacket) but physically resisting it will just make it that much harder to withstand. like, listening to happy music will just make you feel worse, but depressing music can at least demonstrate that there are people that feel even worse than you and in turn make you feel better. ;)

what she said sounds scarily close to hearing "just snap out of it" from a layperson.

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what she said sounds scarily close to hearing "just snap out of it" from a layperson.

Exactly.

You can fight it, and a good therapist should be able to help you learn techniques to do that, but you can't just turn it off.  Hell, if you could, there wouldn't be a pharmaceutical industry!

No one chooses to feel like that.  Your therapist, of all people, should know that.

~CS

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There are things you can do and things you can't do when it comes to dealing with depression. One of the goals of therapy is to learn coping strategies to help as far as they can, there's obviously a point beyond which nothing is going to help.

When I feel my mood slipping, I have things I know I can do, just as I have things I do when I start to feel suicidal. And I can recognize the behaviors that mean something is going wrong. The best comparison I can make is with the intrusive 'voices' I get; they tell me how awful I am and how terrible and how I can't do anything right and on and on and ultimately into how the only solution is to kill myself. When I hear the 'voices' start, I have things I can do to try not to listen to them because if I listen then it's all over. If I do those things, then I have a good chance -- gets better every time I succeed at it -- of deflecting the 'voices.' This doesn't always mean I can prevent the curl up on the couch and want to die part, but I've found that I can often manage to avoid getting that bad and sometimes I can actually turn them 'off' completely.

Perhaps this is the kind of thing your therapist meant? Not that you can 'snap out of it' but that you don't have to sit still and let the depression roll over you. You can do things to fight it, and you can actually succeed at least at mitigating it. Of course, sometimes there's nothing you can do, you're going to get depressed.

Fiona

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I agree with Fiona!

Although sometimes when we are really stressed out, it makes it that much harder to stop the negative ruminations...especially if the thoughts are unconsious.

I also think maybe (and this is only assuming your therapist is competent) that maybe she meant from an "existiential" meaning sort of way, that depression serves a purpose. Finding that purpose is up to the individual.  Usually for me it means, I'm not taking care of my needs in some way, and the awful mood is trying to catch my attention. 

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CBT: There's things you can do to try to break the cycle.  It almost sucks a little when you get to that part, and get all happy cause you BEAT the fucker, and then you have crazy ass moods anyway without so much as an EXCUSE for a reason to have them.  But, it is better than continuing it. 

As for "getting something out of it"...kind of.  There's a part of me, what someone above referred to as the "voices", (with me, it's just one "voice"), that does enjoy that.  Like a sado-masochistic pleasure in me hurting.  And there's definitely a functional aspect of shutting down (the numb instead of the sad).  So...yes and no.  If that was ALL your therapist said though...find a new one who will talk with you about said strategies to deal instead of just telling you you should. 

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Perhaps this is the kind of thing your therapist meant? Not that you can 'snap out of it' but that you don't have to sit still and let the depression roll over you.

Oh, that's what she meant.  I was just curious if anyone can actually talk themselves out of a depression.  I was a little sensitive after that, and the way I explained may have come out a little wrong.  Im sorry if that's what happened.  Thanks for all the info and support.  Im feeling really good today.  Im hoping it lasts.

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I don't think you can talk yourself out of a deep depression. Not after it gets rolling. Or, at least, not in a reasonable amount of time.  And there's clearly a physical component. A very LARGE physical component. That said, it's also obvious that what you think and do can help or make things worse. I think one of the most valuable parts is to dispute feelings that seem to be leading to self destructive behavior. Of course, it works a lot better when your meds are working too.

One example is that when I can summon the will to get out of the house at a reasonable hour and take a walk, I feel significantly better. I have to fight the desire to just sit around in order to that. When I'm inside, it doesn't seem very plausible that a walk is going to help me much, so I have to remember the fact that it does.

LDO

putting off errands and running out of time

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