Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Comments to Mental Water Torture

Opening of article

There is a silent killer amongst us. With little fanfare it ruins lives and even ends them. At any given time, some three percent of the population is under its spell, mostly women (by a ratio of two to three to one). The experts call it dysthymia. We know it as mild to moderate chronic depression. ...

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  1. This is the best description of dysthymia I've run across in my 14-odd years of personal experience with the illness. "...flopping into our unmade beds" -- just perfect.

    The only bit of (hopefully constructive) criticism I would bring up is that the latter part of the article suggests that the various talk therapies have an excellent chance of changing the course of the disease. This is not the case in my experience.

  2. I cannot believe how true this is. I read this whilst doing a bit of research and realised that although I don't feel depressed at the moment I have been and am suffering from this 'mental water toture'. what a fantastic description. It's so true.

    Drugs have helped me and I realise I'll be on them for years. I have to be and I want to be. Therapy too has helped. CBT. fantastic. I'd love to be a therapist myself but it takes a masters degree and I can't afford it or have the energy to put in the time for it :-/

  3. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for writing this description of dysthymia. I have lived with it since childhood and had a major depressive episode right after college (I'm now in my mid-twenties) and it really is a form of slow torture. Every day is a challenge, a marathon. It's a constant battle to keep moving. I often find myself thinking that life just shouldn't be this difficult.

    I read a research article somewhere recently that described depression in terms of the movitivation to seek pleasure rather than an inability to enjoy things. That's dysthymia to me. It's just too much work sometimes to get myself to do enjoyable things, even though I do have a capacity to appreciate them.

    Medication and CBT have saved my life, and I did go through a period where the suicidal thoughts were getting a little too appealing. But still it's always there, I deal with it everyday. I agree with the comment above that talk therapy was not very impactful for me, it's CBT which has given me a more active role in my recovery and a greater understanding of my thought patterns.

  4. " can end it right now. The mental water torture can be a thing of the past. Starting today those you care for can win their lives back."

    The article ended there! I was identifying with the article and becoming encouraged when it abruptly ended. How can we win our lives back? Did I miss something?

  5. Right on the button John. I have a bipolar illness and experience "mild" depression....god that word mild infuriates me. The enduring nature of this type of depression is like torture. 75% of my life is spent in this state. Luckily I have shorted periods of extreme happiness... I so enjoy that's my life saver I wait for it to arrive. It is sometimes so long that I have to wait..5 months is the longest. It's like being in solitary confinement even
    though I go to work. I feel misunderstood by going to work...oh she must be ok she still gets herself to work. You can edit htis if it's too long xx

  6. i have struggled with this all of my life too...but only realized within the last cpl of yrs that it is a legitimate illness. i've tried lexapro and prozac, and also some therapy..but never had great results with any. i have been avoiding meds for the last 3yrs but i just cant keep living like this. just started taking st. johns wort and going to see a new therapist this week. john, i have read thru your sight and was seriously considering trying meds again...but now im petrified after reading all of this! whats your best advice for dystymia with frequent episides of "double depression?" thanks in advance and thanks for all you do.