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Thread: This is dark and possibly upsetting

  1. #21
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    As an empath, I hear you. I use to cry driving home from emergency surgery caused by beatings...abuse beyond my understanding.

    I always have to take myself back to the starfish story: I can't save them all, but what I do for this one makes a difference. Focus on your contribution to your community both in your work and your personal time. None of us can ever do it all no matter how much we want to.

    Example: rather than feed 1 person on the street corner when I see them, I donate $100/month to our local foodbank. They have a contract to turn that $ 5X into food for 1000s across our state, weekend backpack programs for kids, lunch in the park all summer while school is out......

    Have I cured world hunger? NO! emphatically NO! However, I make a difference every day with this small gift. I simply cannot spend my emotions worrying about the hunger everywhere else or I would crumble.

    I do think counseling for a while could be helpful. Or a ton of reading and homework to work it through for yourself. I've done both. You deserve to enjoy your life even when there is pain all around you-direct view or world view.

    And above all, be kind to yourself. This is a very difficult road and you CAN do it!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Generally when fighting depression, one gives the person tools that do help.

    what exactly would it look like if a therapist “fixed” me.

    when I was anemic and low on energy, I took iron and I felt better because it solved the underlying problem of iron deficiency. I did not take strong stimulants that made me feel energetic while leaving the anemia in place.

    what I would like are some better tools to address the underlying causes of the pain, not tools to make the pain go away.

    what I want to know is how to better fix what is broken that is breaking me. What I want uis a course of action that I can believe will create results. I would like to feel like I tipped the balance, a stretch of time where the good things I helped with feel bigger than the bad things I didn’t, or couldn’t help, or worse - contributed to. where the preventable bad stuff happens to people I don’t know or at least I don’t feel like it should have been preventable by me.
    what I want to know is how to better fix what is broken that is breaking me. Response: You focus on what you DIDN'T do. You need to focus on what you DO! Those are your successes and making a difference in the world.

    what exactly would it look like if a therapist “fixed” me. RESPONSE: A therapist does not FIX. A therapist gives you tools and walks you through the work by listening and giving feedback and refining the tools.

    Generally when fighting depression, one gives the person tools that do help. RESPONSE:
    What Are the Main Causes of Depression?

    • Abuse. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can increase the vulnerability to clinical depression later in life.
    • Certain medications. ...
    • Conflict. ...
    • Death or a loss. ...
    • Genetics. ...
    • Major events. ...
    • Other personal problems. ...
    • Serious illnesses.



    You have to do the work to get to the bottom of what causes your depression. If it's chemical, it's not going to get better without an Anti-depressant just as Diabetics must take Insulin. If it's other life events, then do the work to get through to acceptance of the past and move on.

    I suggest you start with the book: Dance of Anger. There is a workbook to go with it.

    Read "The Art of Happiness" as well. No more simplistic life of service than the Buddhists.

    The Healing comes from within. The work is yours. You can use guides (therapy), or you can find resources and guide yourself. The journey is challenging and constant.

  3. #23
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    I am a big fan of bibliotherapy. I am currently working myself out of a depression, and I highly recommend these three books:
    F*ck Feelings, by Michael and Sarah Bennett
    Get it Done when you're Depressed, by Julie Fast and Jon Preston, and
    The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris.
    I am most intrigued by this last one, as he practices ACT therapy, which I think has a great deal to offer those of us who are depressed.

    Basically, my take on this whole depression thing (which I have had since I was 12, as has my dad, my grandmother, and my great uncle) is that it biochemical and we need to approach it holistically, but super important to fix our thinking, and to begin to take life on life's terms, rather than being constantly disappointed because of our expectations of how things should be.

    Al Anon helps a lot with that, too, and since you mention your granddad and drinking, I'd try that if I were you-- it has helped me to cope with the damage caused by my dad's alcoholism. And yes, they all had reasons to drink, but that is beside the point, really. Al Anon is the first place where I have learned to separate myself from their pain.

    Basically, I grew up with people who did not teach me how to handle life's pain; they just avoided it by drinking, and there was an educational lack there in coping. So I work to remedy it myself, to improve my life and to improve the lives of those associated with me--hoping to be an example to my own children, if I live that long.

  4. #24
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    Buddhism is not just about detaching from your pain, but learning to extend compassion to others in effective ways. Sometimes it is just being there. In the West we are focused on doing not being. It seems you are trapped in this mindset that you must have a big list of things you can do to solve problems. But sometimes you have to learn the humility to admit you are not the heroine who can fix everything and that's okay.
    This bears repeating. Having a daily, unremitting to-do list--like being driven by hell hounds--seems to be common these days.

  5. #25
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    I think you can be assured that we are all here for each other - even though we are just virtual beings. It is apparently very hard to be a human for many of us earthlings. I find that reminding myself that "this too shall pass" helps when I am in the midst of a funk because it always changes eventually. Gratitude for the good things and limiting media exposure. There is also some interesting research (to me at least) on how diet and biomes affect our mental state.

  6. #26
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    Buddhism is not just about detaching from your pain, but learning to extend compassion to others in effective ways. Sometimes it is just being there. In the West we are focused on doing not being. It seems you are trapped in this mindset that you must have a big list of things you can do to solve problems. But sometimes you have to learn the humility to admit you are not the heroine who can fix everything and that's okay.
    Yes.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #27
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    I think you can be assured that we are all here for each other - even though we are just virtual beings. It is apparently very hard to be a human for many of us earthlings. I find that reminding myself that "this too shall pass" helps when I am in the midst of a funk because it always changes eventually. Gratitude for the good things and limiting media exposure. There is also some interesting research (to me at least) on how diet and biomes affect our mental state.


    Yes--depression and the gut biome are hot topics these days!

  8. #28
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    Therapy and medication is my suggestion. I know you don’t like to hear that. Narcotics are nothing like antidepressants.

    I also will stick my neck out to mention that those who reject help while still asking for help sometimes just are not able to see truth until they decide to accept the help. They are choosing to remain in their suffering sometimes as an heroic act - which can sound a little self-serving actually to the rest of us who are trying to help.

    I don't mean to offend - but you asked. I won’t say again unless you ask again. I have 22 years of full time psychiatric nurse experience that I am happy to use to help you,

  9. #29
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    "Just being there." It is one of the most healing and powerful things you can do. It is also one of the most difficult.
    I am often asked how I do what I do. I have been to as many as three suicide calls in one day and so many of them are children. It is shocking how young they are. We used to respond to schools on occasion and now it is several times a week to assist kids in talking about a school related grief situation. What is coming out is not only the situation that we are there for but so much more about their home lives, bullying etc. Kids today are feeling so much pressure that they are not emotionally equipped to deal with. The parents rarely have a clue.

    All of these situations are traumatic but they are not mine. I go in and I see unimaginable things but I'm there to assist the survivors. I can have an emotional response in the moment but it can never eclipse the emotions of the people I have been called to assist. It is tragic BUT it is not my tragedy. I also can not fix it - NOBODY CAN. There are no words and the most powerful thing you can do is to be there. Just be there. See what they see, allow them to feel what they feel. You can't try to normalize an abnormal situation. You can't minimize it with platitudes. The most loving thing you can do is be there in the muck. You have to learn to stop the impulse to shovel the muck yourself or steer somebody else to do it before they are ready. You can control nothing. It all comes down to learning to be comfortable with lack of control.

    I am there for survivors to emotionally unload. Within 24 hours there is a call coming to me so that I can unload what I witnessed and experienced. I also debrief others from their calls and within 24 hours I get a call to unload all I have absorbed from those calls. Talking with a good listener is key. A good listener knows they can't fix but they can be there to support the emotional load. We are insistent on self-care and following through on it. Self-care looks different to each of us. For me it is working with people in the same community but in a positive feel-good way that balances what I see on the other. I may not be able to battle (control) the evil and despair in the world but I can inject positivity into it. I can stand silent witness and support to somebody on the worst day of their lives and the next day I can bring flowers, food and a smile to somebody who really needs it. Those are my politics, that is my church.

    We can't control a lot. We often can't control what we wish but we can do something. It isn't required that you sacrifice your soul to lighten the load of another. On that note you also have to realize that you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can assist anybody else.
    A major component of depression is rumination. You sound terribly depressed. Mentally grinding on your sorrows compounding it with the sorrows of others is a toxic pied piper that keeps leading you down in a spiral. It is work to change that ingrained thought process. I don't know too many people who have been able to pull out without therapy. Please, please, please...… reach out for help. Give yourself even a fraction of the effort you give others. You matter.

  10. #30
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    "Just being there." It is one of the most healing and powerful things you can do. It is also one of the most difficult.
    I am often asked how I do what I do. I have been to as many as three suicide calls in one day and so many of them are children. It is shocking how young they are. We used to respond to schools on occasion and now it is several times a week to assist kids in talking about a school related grief situation. What is coming out is not only the situation that we are there for but so much more about their home lives, bullying etc. Kids today are feeling so much pressure that they are not emotionally equipped to deal with. The parents rarely have a clue.

    All of these situations are traumatic but they are not mine. I go in and I see unimaginable things but I'm there to assist the survivors. I can have an emotional response in the moment but it can never eclipse the emotions of the people I have been called to assist. It is tragic BUT it is not my tragedy. I also can not fix it - NOBODY CAN. There are no words and the most powerful thing you can do is to be there. Just be there. See what they see, allow them to feel what they feel. You can't try to normalize an abnormal situation. You can't minimize it with platitudes. The most loving thing you can do is be there in the muck. You have to learn to stop the impulse to shovel the muck yourself or steer somebody else to do it before they are ready. You can control nothing. It all comes down to learning to be comfortable with lack of control.

    I am there for survivors to emotionally unload. Within 24 hours there is a call coming to me so that I can unload what I witnessed and experienced. I also debrief others from their calls and within 24 hours I get a call to unload all I have absorbed from those calls. Talking with a good listener is key. A good listener knows they can't fix but they can be there to support the emotional load. We are insistent on self-care and following through on it. Self-care looks different to each of us. For me it is working with people in the same community but in a positive feel-good way that balances what I see on the other. I may not be able to battle (control) the evil and despair in the world but I can inject positivity into it. I can stand silent witness and support to somebody on the worst day of their lives and the next day I can bring flowers, food and a smile to somebody who really needs it. Those are my politics, that is my church.

    We can't control a lot. We often can't control what we wish but we can do something. It isn't required that you sacrifice your soul to lighten the load of another. On that note you also have to realize that you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can assist anybody else.
    A major component of depression is rumination. You sound terribly depressed. Mentally grinding on your sorrows compounding it with the sorrows of others is a toxic pied piper that keeps leading you down in a spiral. It is work to change that ingrained thought process. I don't know too many people who have been able to pull out without therapy. Please, please, please...… reach out for help. Give yourself even a fraction of the effort you give others. You matter.
    I am so grateful for the collective wisdom on this forum, as well as the deep empathy, sacrifice and compassion.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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