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This may be more applicable to those who have been depressed for years, but I’m just curious how many feel like they’ve accepted the fact that they’re depressed and does it help?

 

my depression is weird. It’s certainly atypical (which I didn’t realize is an official diagnosis until a few years ago), meaning I can experience joy if something good happens more or less, but my basic default state is pretty miserable. Still, I have lots of ups and downs, so I have days where I feel almost normal (NOT any kind of mania with the ups, just normal). And I wonder if that’s why I think I struggle to reallyaccept that after 12 years I still just feel like shit for no reason... because those good/normal times are like a tease, but they always fade. It feels sometimes like I can shake it off or outrun it... like happiness or a cure is almost within reach if I could just try a little harder. I’m constantly trying to find any little thing that might help.

I feel like if I could really accept this depression, maybe I could stop trying to outrun it. I’m not even quite sure what that looks like, but I’m so tired of the constant battle in my head, it feels like denial. Has anyone experienced this kind of thing?

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Hi,

I think I'm a few years "ahead" (poor choice of word) of you. I've Atypical/Treatment Resistant depression and I've had it for 25 years. 90% of my day is spent feeling very depressed and worthless.

To answer your question, I truly don't know if accepting it helps or not. I've tried fighting it for about 15 years, and accepting it for about 10 years. I don't think I could have accepted it unless I'd fought it for a good while since I'm a stubborn bastard. I know that fighting it made my depression worse if anything, since I also have OCD and doing loads and loads of CBT exercises just fueled my OCD, making my depression worse. I also tried ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and that just dug me a giant hole. It kept me alive but now that I'm done, it's just making things harder.

I think what I'm trying to say is that if you're very treatment-resistant, both options are truly horrible I'm afraid to say. There's no comfort or solace in either and both are horrific "choices".

I wish I had something more positive to relay but that's what I've experienced, for what it's worth.

Pete

 

 

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Ive always known and accepted it. Im also stubborn as a mule and resisted getting treatment for so long until i had a bit of a meltdown.

acceptance made no difference for me

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Yes, I did finally accept it, and yes, it did monumentally help and put me at peace. For years and years, I sought cures from psychiatry to taking every possibly helpful supplement out there. Nothing worked. Then one day I had the epiphany that I should just accept it like a person with diabetes has to accept their disease. And like someone with diabetes, I decided to manage it. Luckily, I found a good cocktail that manages it most days, but the cocktail is far from perfect, and I'm always aware that I do in fact suffer from depression.

What I gained by accepting it was an end to the constant searching for a cure which is likely not out there. Therapy doesn't help me at all because my depression is not situational and so there's no cure there. Now I try to enjoy the good times and no longer panic and beat myself up over the bad times. 

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I don't think I'll ever be able to accept it.  It just doesn't feel normal on any level to me.

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No I don't think I've accepted it. My depression is directly coming from my intrusive thought and because this thought  comes and goes (it can go away for a while, but it will always come back) I still have hope somewhere that I can beat it forever. I've been trying this for the last 3 years with some success, but I've failed a lot of times.
I know it is possible with medication and the right form of therapy, but I have not found a therapist who truly understands my issue. Most of them want me to acknowledge that I have Pure O and they want to treat it like Pure O. Medication wise I had good results in the past and because I was in remission for such a long time I just refuse to accept it and stop looking for a cure. 

MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) has only made it worse. Especially the meditations, they have never helped me. According to psychologists this form of therapy is one of the best ways to deal with intrusive thoughts. That could be, but as soon as I close my eyes, the 'white bear' takes over and I think my unwanted thought constantly.

I can see why Acceptance & Commitment Therarpy can help people with obsessive thoughts. I had high hopes because in theory it is suppose to work. The harder I work, the less I accept the thought.
So I stopped with working on it and that seems to work better than doing meditation exercises. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, sming said:

Hi,

I think I'm a few years "ahead" (poor choice of word) of you. I've Atypical/Treatment Resistant depression and I've had it for 25 years. 90% of my day is spent feeling very depressed and worthless.

To answer your question, I truly don't know if accepting it helps or not. I've tried fighting it for about 15 years, and accepting it for about 10 years. I don't think I could have accepted it unless I'd fought it for a good while since I'm a stubborn bastard. I know that fighting it made my depression worse if anything, since I also have OCD and doing loads and loads of CBT exercises just fueled my OCD, making my depression worse. I also tried ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and that just dug me a giant hole. It kept me alive but now that I'm done, it's just making things harder.

I think what I'm trying to say is that if you're very treatment-resistant, both options are truly horrible I'm afraid to say. There's no comfort or solace in either and both are horrific "choices".

I wish I had something more positive to relay but that's what I've experienced, for what it's worth.

Pete

^^ THIS ^^  It's in my nature to fight it..I'm a fighter, stubborn. A huge part of me that feels if I "accept it" I'm settling, weak, pathetic, giving in, or feeling sorry for myself. It's a guilt thing, partly fueled by a society that constantly says "It's your fault you're depressed, just change your mindset, be grateful, you have a negative attitude, your life isn't so bad, you're a drama queen, get over it, there's people that have it worse..." etc etc. It's really hard to tune out a lifetime of this stigma.

It might be different if I had a real life community of people that could relate. Everyone I know is freaking  positivity obsessed, and probably never experienced severe endogenous, treatment-resistant depression..surely they don't "come out" about it.  Alienating. And worse, the people that prescribe the obvious: vitamins, exercising, self care, etc which is absolutely everything I already do. Or they minimize it "I was depressed for 3 whole months, and acupuncture & yoga cured me" I hate that patronizing BS...

Only thing that helps is the days where I don't obsess over it. Not denial, but try to let it go and fade into the background...Therapy often exacerbates it, and causes me to focus more on my illness unfortunately. I think if there wasnt so much stigma and people  "normalized it" like any other physical disease, i could accept it, but that's not happening.

 

Edited by Blahblah
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My time is better spent working on the things I can change. I radically accept what I can't change.

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12 hours ago, argh said:

Ive always known and accepted it. Im also stubborn as a mule and resisted getting treatment for so long until i had a bit of a meltdown.

acceptance made no difference for me

I didn't know I had severe depression and OCD for 5+ years. I then got treatment but it was too late. The brain connections and pathways that the obsessive depression/OCD thinking had forged were far too entrenched to be undone. My various therapists (mostly CBT) also managed not to diagnose my rampant OCD for another five years. I'm pretty bitter about that. I've had 5 or 6 horrible misdiagnoses in my life - I've been exceptionally unlucky.

On that tip, after 25 years of suffering and fighting, it would appear that my body, brain and I are not for this World.

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43 minutes ago, notloki said:

My time is better spent working on the things I can change. I radically accept what I can't change.

but what if what you can't change (e.g. severe TRD and OCD) causes you to suffer greatly every day with objectively no end in sight?

I've adopted mindfulness and acceptance into my mental health "armoury" but it only helps with anxiety for me. When I'm catatonically - or "SATW" (Stare At The Wall) - depressed, I'm too low/bad to even think of doing mindfulness and when I do, it's overwhelmingly too much effort for too little benefit.

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4 hours ago, Catwoman said:

No I don't think I've accepted it. My depression is directly coming from my intrusive thought and because this thought  comes and goes (it can go away for a while, but it will always come back) I still have hope somewhere that I can beat it forever. I've been trying this for the last 3 years with some success, but I've failed a lot of times.
I know it is possible with medication and the right form of therapy, but I have not found a therapist who truly understands my issue. Most of them want me to acknowledge that I have Pure O and they want to treat it like Pure O. Medication wise I had good results in the past and because I was in remission for such a long time I just refuse to accept it and stop looking for a cure. 

MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) has only made it worse. Especially the meditations, they have never helped me. According to psychologists this form of therapy is one of the best ways to deal with intrusive thoughts. That could be, but as soon as I close my eyes, the 'white bear' takes over and I think my unwanted thought constantly.

I can see why Acceptance & Commitment Therarpy can help people with obsessive thoughts. I had high hopes because in theory it is suppose to work. The harder I work, the less I accept the thought.
So I stopped with working on it and that seems to work better than doing meditation exercises. 

Same here. Mindfulness and OCD do not mix well for me at all. FWIW the only thing that helped with my horrific Pure O OCD was Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), where you systematically, gradually expose yourself to your intrusive, terrifying thoughts. I still have Pure O (about committing suicide, ironically) but it's about 30% of what it was. HTH.

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16 hours ago, climber47 said:

This may be more applicable to those who have been depressed for years, but I’m just curious how many feel like they’ve accepted the fact that they’re depressed and does it help?

I've been dealing with depression for 20 years now, and for the last 15 it's been very consistent with few pauses. I've talked to people about ACT and whether it could have benefits, but honestly I can't accept it. Accepting it feels very dangerous to me. Refusing to accept it is a pretty big component for me in keeping SU thoughts at bay, and continuing to push forward and do the things I need to do for daily life. I may be missing out on benefits, but so far I haven't been able to take the risk.

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I think you have mistaken accepting it with paying ill-thought mind, Ion. Paying ill-thought mind is the exact opposite of accepting it, because you are not getting on with what can be changed, instead you are judging it to try to come to a conclusion as to why it is there, and trying to rationalise it away. Imposing your will upon it. 

Accepting it is simply accepting you have depression, which is an incurable illness that you can only do your best to manage. End of story, life goes on. If you don't let it go on, it is not accepting. It is putting up with it. 

 

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1 hour ago, sming said:

but what if what you can't change (e.g. severe TRD and OCD) causes you to suffer greatly every day with objectively no end in sight?

Well the truth is you can't change it (an incurable disease) so get on with life. I may have a seizure at any moment but I don't let that slow me down. I try to not set myself up for failure by taking on battles that are unwinnable. I like to say "choose your battles carefully".   

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, notloki said:

 Well the truth is you can't change it (an incurable disease) so get on with life. I may have a seizure at any moment but I don't let that slow me down. I try to not set myself up for failure by taking on battles that are unwinnable. I like to say "choose your battles carefully".   

I think you're arguing a different point there. My question was not about taking on unwinnable battles, it was about being unable to tolerate the daily suffering, with no objective end in sight (discounting ending it all). What do you do then? I, personally can't get on with life because I feel utterly worthless and depressed 90% of the time.

The answer is "there's nothing you can do, so just suffer". That's what Steven Hayes maintains. But again, what if you can't stand the suffering and worse, the very logical, objective prospect of more suffering? 

And that's where the complete asshole (I saw him weekly for 2+ years when I was living in London) Windy Dryden chimes in with trite lines like "my depression is difficult to bear but not unbearable - it won't make me explode", and "having severe chronic TRD is bad but not awful. The World isn't going to instantly end because I have TRD". 

Sure, these approaches lessen the suffering for a few years but after that, they sound amoral and ridiculous.

Edited by sming
clarification

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1 hour ago, Ion said:

I've been dealing with depression for 20 years now, and for the last 15 it's been very consistent with few pauses. I've talked to people about ACT and whether it could have benefits, but honestly I can't accept it. Accepting it feels very dangerous to me. Refusing to accept it is a pretty big component for me in keeping SU thoughts at bay, and continuing to push forward and do the things I need to do for daily life. I may be missing out on benefits, but so far I haven't been able to take the risk.

I wish I hadn't accepted it. Whilst following ACT I got married and had kids. I love the kids dearly but I truly, objectively wish I'd never done ACT and thus never had them. My illnesses make me a poor father, husband and general person to be around. 

ACT sounds great when you first try it, and it sort of helps for a bit but if you're TR, after a while you just can't do it anymore. I'm as stubborn as a mule, fairly tough and really committed to it initially but after 3 or 4 years I just couldn't pretend any more, because that's what it asks you to do - to pretend that you want to do stuff and pretend you're not feeling like human dogshit.

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1 hour ago, sming said:

I wish I hadn't accepted it. Whilst following ACT I got married and had kids. I love the kids dearly but I truly, objectively wish I'd never done ACT and thus never had them. My illnesses make me a poor father, husband and general person to be around. 

ACT sounds great when you first try it, and it sort of helps for a bit but if you're TR, after a while you just can't do it anymore. I'm as stubborn as a mule, fairly tough and really committed to it initially but after 3 or 4 years I just couldn't pretend any more, because that's what it asks you to do - to pretend that you want to do stuff and pretend you're not feeling like human dogshit.

I saw a tdoc (only for 2 months) that did ACT. I didn't quite get how it was just different than mindfulness, combined with committed action towards goals...Basically like you said, accepting the feelings but sort of ignoring them, acting anyway.

Maybe this is an oversimplified explanation, but every session I had with the guy I was just sitting there in silence meditating (eyes open), breathing slowly, then he questioned me how I felt, how was it, what were you thinking...THAT WAS IT. I couldn't afford to pay for that sh*t over & over. No thanks. I'd rather read pema chodron or just go to a meditation group.

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They might sound amoral and ridiculous, but they are also true factually. Morality is a personal thing, not necessarily factual. Suffering is also a personal affair, furthermore it is a human affair. Every single one of us experiences suffering and it is futile to compare yours or to label it as something other than part of the human condition. 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, climber47 said:

I feel like if I could really accept this depression, maybe I could stop trying to outrun it. I’m not even quite sure what that looks like, but I’m so tired of the constant battle in my head, it feels like denial. Has anyone experienced this kind of thing? 

Oh yes! It's a part of me but I can't accept it. Let's all just get along, everyone is a unique interesting individual and we should all try to be kind and understanding to each other. Love is better than hate. Then the depression chimes in with it's eloquent arguments such as "Fuck everything! Everything is shit and life is just suffering. It's all pointless misery and nothing matters." I can't accept it, though who the 'I' is can vary. I hope I don't sound like some mass murdering psychopath because the hate only ends up hitting me, and I'm no danger to anyone except myself.

Tired of the constant battle in your head. I know very well how that feels.

Edited by Fluent In Silence

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