Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Brief History of Depression

“I’ve been to hell and back so many times, I must admit you kind of bore me.” – Ray LaMontagne

Being that I’m generally very happy, positive and enthusiastic about life and living, I sometimes encounter people who seem baffled as to how I could possibly talk with any authority on the subject of depression, let alone suggest it could - in many cases - be cured… which I firmly believe to be true.

Perhaps they hold the opinion that my life must always have been a bed of roses and I blog these bold and arrogant statements without having experienced anything more than feeling a little low?

There have even been suggestions that - because I didn’t kill myself - I can’t have been suicidal, as if the lack of making the final cut, so to speak, was a weakness.

What they don’t realise is, I went through hell…

I know that many, many people who have walked this planet have gone through or are going through worse ordeals of suffering, but in the sense of Western-world depression, I’ve ticked just about all the boxes except for executing a successful suicide… though that’s a very grim oxymoron if ever there was one.

I write about depression from the perspective of someone who’s been there. I spent over twenty years - more than half my life - inside that living nightmare and I speak openly and candidly about my experiences because I’d like to help others find their way through, too.

So… I’m going to use this blog to do two things: firstly, to give greater insight into the scale and depth of the depression I experienced; and then to explain the reasoning for my conviction that we can overcome it and remove it from our lives, as I have done.

If you’re already gritting your teeth and possibly whistling steam out of your ears at the suggestion that depression can be cured; if you think I’m meddling with things I can’t possibly understand… then I recommend you don’t read any further.

And before I carry on, I want to say that I’m not looking for sympathy in explaining some of the more intimate details of my experiences. From my perspective, here and now, I see every dark moment as a slab in the crazy-paved path that led me right to here, and I love my life. I am truly happy and have made peace with myself and all the content of my mind.

Scotland’s Action on Depression website lists the following as symptoms of depression:

http://www.actionondepression.org/depression/symptoms-of-depression?gclid=CJTc4uebwq0CFYuIfAod625rBg

• Feelings of hopelessness
• Inadequacy
• Anxiety
• Self-hatred
• Negativity
• An inability to enjoy things which were once pleasurable in life
• Guilt
• Agitation
• Weight loss or weight gain
• Loss of energy or motivation
• Loss of sex-drive
• Disturbed sleep
• Poor concentration, indecisiveness
• Irritability, anger
• Social withdrawal
• Unexplained aches and pains
• Self-harm
• Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

That list pretty much encompasses how my life used to be. I can relate to and have experienced every symptom, and they never came one at a time – they gang up.

I first started self-harming aged around 13. There was probably an element of bravado to begin with, because I used to do it with my mates, at school. We’d drag craft-knife blades across our forearms and see who could bleed the most, but when that fad wore out amonst my peers, I kept doing it. I’d cut myself, alone in my bedroom, choked up with deep, shoulder-rocking sobs and blinded by tears.

I was bullied at school, but also a bully. I’d get the occasional beatings, jibes, slaps across the head or punches in the back when I was walking along the corridors… and then I’d take it out on some other poor bugger (David – he forgave me, latterly), because it felt like my only means of control, when everything else in my life was so chaotic.

My parents had split up when I was nine or ten and my mother had to work crazy hours just to keep the proverbial wolf from the door. She’d leave for her factory job at six in the morning and return at nine at night. I had two older brothers still at home, but they both had jobs at a local hotel and usually worked in the evenings. I was almost completely unsupervised during those formative years, and without guidance, so began the descent.

I had a morbid fear of nuclear war and of people close to me dying. During my early teens, I lived in a constant state of terror, with the absolute certainty, however deluded, that I and all the people I loved were going to die in a fiery, atomic apocalypse. (This is why I advocate that people don’t live every day as if it’s their last… the last day is the shitty one.)

I was 22 ½ stone (315lbs/143kg) when I was aged 14. I was probably around six foot in height by then (being I’m 6’4” now), but I was disproportionately fat. It wasn’t condusive to the attraction of girlfriends.

I used to truant from school and buy – on credit, on my Mum’s account, from my local shop – loads of food. I remember Mr Kipling’s caramel slices, particularly. Afraid of every knock on the door, I used to hide away from the world and just eat. Sometimes, I made myself throw up, but most often I just hated myself and kept eating.

I stood on the outside of the parapet of Victoria Viaduct in Carlisle, on a ledge of about a foot, talking to policemen and explaining why it was my time to die. There was something like a hundred foot fall one step back from me, and I wanted to take that step. (The policeman lured me into talking to him, grabbed my arm and with the help of other rushing officers, pulled me over that wall.)

I’ve slit my wrist and seen the glutinous pool of blood spread across the desk, watching it and being afraid that this was it… that I’d be no more. Blood pumps out of you faster than you’d expect, if you have no expectations.

I remember being stomach pumped after a particularly nasty overdose, when I combined everything I had: sleepers, painkillers, anti-depressants… I wanted to die. I remember the tube down my throat, sucking out all the toxins, and not being able to swallow without pain the next day; and the next day, I still wanted to die – lying in my hospital bed, totally void of emotion, wishing I wasn’t there.

There were times I could watch women’s tennis and only be interested in the score.

I spent two occasions in mental hospitals. You don’t go there for fun.

I had agoraphobia and social phobia for years… I can’t remember most of my 20s. I didn’t step out of the house for months at end, at one point.

I almost pulled the life from myself, with that ligature in the woods.

I worried about everything… my past, my future… how I’d fucked up and how I hoped for better, but knew I’d fuck up again.

Now, I know I’m happy.

What I want to teach is that this really is possible – happiness is yours to take - and those who may pour disbelief and criticism upon my words are really not helping you or I.

I don’t pretend to know every form or manifestation of depression, but I’m guessing that a lot of you out there have experienced something of the above – and if you have, then the good news is that there is a cure… there is the truth that you don’t have to suffer until the end of your days believing that you have an eternal disease.

Depression is a lie we tell ourselves. It is nothing more than that.

It’s self-deceit.

Your own mind is attacking you; making you believe that you are it, when you are much more powerful than your thoughts.

This is the ego.

So, anyway, this is why I feel I’m qualified to talk about depression.

61 comments:

  1. Wow, I used to be terrified of nuclear war when I was a kid too. Would stay up all night worrying about me and my family dying. Perhaps a result of the Cold War? Interesting...

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    1. It wasn't conducive to a good night's sleep, having two superpowers threatening each other all the time! :-)

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  2. I enjoyed reading your post. I used to worry about everything, but now I learned not to sweat the small stuff anymore. Depression is real and so many people can learn from reading this. Thanks for sharing Les!

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    1. Thanks, Beatrice! Yeah, the small stuff can pass us by if we make ourselves aware that we don't need to worry about it. :-)

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  3. I totally empathize! An ex once said he didn't believe in psychiatric medicine & it was all in the mind. To some degree I believe that if we can resolve the external source of what triggered the depression perhaps we can be more optimistic of having control of happiness...However, if the mind is stuck on a negative loop remembering abandonment, selfdoubt, and the like, indeed the brain allows us to continue to deceive ourselves.

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    1. Yep, those triggers need to be identified and removed from our lives if we're to live more peacefully, but the awareness that thoughts are just thoughts is also a very powerful tool in coping.

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  4. You don't need to explain yourself to anyone... but I'm glad that you choose to share your experience with others like me. I've picked up a lot from you. Looking forward to reading future posts on this subject.

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    1. Thank you so much, Med! I hope you're well! :-)

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  5. I love the purity and simplicity of your deep, dark posts. Keep writing!

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  6. I adore you my sweet Englishman - keep sharing your story because it gives hope to those who have none, and it brings light to those who know you.
    xoxox
    eden

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    1. Aw, thank you, Eden! :-)

      xoxox

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    2. donna crabtree27 March 2013 00:07

      I have been in dark places ,post natal depresssion being my worst. I feel happy in my life now. I describe my time of being Low deep underground ,with view of the light far above.......some things help you climb the ladder to reach the light ,but you can soon be Knocked down .once at the top it feels good to be free and knowing its possible to reach the light is encourging ....but it takes time . Does that make sense ? Very interested in what you have to say ,its good to not hide away from mental illness x

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  7. Good for you. My son has been depressed/suffering from psychosis nos for 2 years. We have tried (and will keep on trying) everything we can to help him. I might be naive, but I believe he will make it. I did. To maintain my sanity, I write...often about madness. I'm not trying to capitalize on what I've seen/lived through. I'm simply trying to keep my head above water.
    Sadly, my sister did not survive. She was successful in her suicide attempt on the first try. I miss her every day. I also thank her for making me hypervigilant on the topic.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, but I hope if one good thing comes from her passing, it's that your hypervigilance saves others. Your own coping mechanism seems remarkable, and I hope you keep your head above the surface for many, many years to come. :-)

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  8. Rachel Edmonds5 March 2012 22:28

    I found this absolutely fascinating. I have lived with psychotic depression for many years and had a history of psychiatric treatment, hospitalisation, medication, self-harm and suicide attempts. I can empathise with your story. There are reasons that led to my condition. I am fine 95% of the time. I am honestly a very happy individual and love to laugh but there are triggers that kick off an episode. Recently the final acceptance of my husband’s death which has had a profound impact on me and my life. I am most happy for you that you have overcome. I too now see a beautiful future ahead of me instead of continual episodes of darkness. One I know my husband wanted me to live and go on to enjoy. There will always be sadness for the loss of my lovely darling man that I said farewell to, ironically for me, at the age of 37, but I know there is also too much joy out there not to experience. It's early days for me as yet, I'm taking small steps but your story makes me smile. I love reading your work and you are also exceptionally amusing too!

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    1. That must have been crushing. I'm really not surprised his passing had such a profound impact, but I'm so happy to read that you're getting stronger and looking to brighter days ahead.

      And thank you so much for your kind words, Rachel! I'm glad I can give you a smile now and again! :-)

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    2. Rachel Edmonds10 March 2012 16:15

      Thank you. Reading your work has helped me greatly. I appreciate it. You have made me laugh when there were tears also. I wish you the happiness you deserve in your life too. Especially for all you do to help others.

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  9. I found this post to be very moving, because like many, I've been struggling with depression for a while now. I often feel so alone and confused about how I'm feeling. It's definitely encouraging to hear about someone who moved past it all. Thank you so much for being so honest, and for sharing your story and experiences!

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    1. I'm really pleased I can be of some use, Shanon. I think if you're confused about how you're feeling, you're probably thinking too much. Try to let go... distract your mind away from the ruminations. I hope some of the other blogs I've written will help you with this. :-)

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing your story Les. As someone who has been suffering from depression since I was 11 (I'm 21 now), it's always comforting to know 1) I'm not alone, and sometimes, sadly, 2) that someone has had it worse than me. Depression is serious and it's real. I, for one, appreciate that you no longer suffer from it. It doesn't have to be a forever disease. I tend to deal with mine in bouts, and I'm going through one right now. I thank you for being so candid about your experience.

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  11. It was difficult for me some 12 years ago to realize just how depression can affect someone, until I found out my brother had suffered a breakdown of the extreme kind, and to this day is still combating the illness that so nearly dragged him down.

    My parents having separated some 51years ago now and then his marriage breakdown some 12 years ago, seemed to be the final straw.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  12. thanks for sharing your story. well done

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  13. Well done, I identified so much..and you are correct it can be beaten and managed without medication....it is in the thinking for me , I never imagined a life with positive thinking and freedom from self... I have that today and it's bloody marvellous !,,

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  14. Thank you for sharing, Les. Bringing awareness and light to thought and emotion is the only true antidote to this self inflicted malady :)

    Love and light.

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  15. Hi. That was beautifully written and I appreciate you sharing your story, but somewhere I missed how you got rid of the depression. I have a long story, myself, and I am permanently disabled with depression, unable to leave my home for days, enjoying nothing, looking forward to dying, 2 failed suicide attempts, and I could go on and on. It's in my family as well as due to many tragic events one after another. How did you get rid of your depression? I've tried everything, and I still plan on my third attempt being my final. Thank you.

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    1. Yes, I missed that part also. How did you get rid of your depression? I have suffered for many years on & off, & am in the midst of a major depressive episode. Depression is a chemical, real, medical illness. Yes, changing your thoughts (cognitive therapy) can be helpful, but medication is often required. It's not simply "mind over matter"
      or "think positive".
      Jasmine, I just attempted suicide last month. My first & last time. Your situation sounds similiar to mine..many tragic events one after another, etc. Please do NOT make a third attempt. Even though depressed, I know that's not the answer. Don't let this illness win.

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    2. Ello! Sorry for the tardiness on replies...

      I wrote this blog - 'The Cure to Depression' - about how I made it through, and I think there's a lot of wisdom for others in there, too.

      http://lesism.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/cure-to-depression.html

      Please don't underestimate the power of positive thinking as a solution to the situations you both are going through. Regardless of the various underlying issues which may lead to a manifestation of a serious depressive episode, there is a common link to all suicides... that the mind screams that it wants you dead. It becomes an obsessively-played 'track' in your head and you keep playing it over and over again.

      The greatest benefit to counter this is to interrupt that negative thought process and program a new way of thinking. It is possible to do this.

      I honestly, two and a half years ago, never thought I'd be able to release myself from the grip of depression, but it's gone, now. Sure, there are still low days, but it's not comparable to before. They're just low days and it's so relatively easy to step out of that fog.

      Wishing you both the very best.

      Les

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  16. Read this, Jasmine?

    http://bit.ly/x87nGm

    You need to understand that if you make depression your identity, you will remain in that state of depression.

    To intend to kill yourself on the third attempt is the irrational planning of a dysfunctional, egoic mind - it is not what you want and it is not who you are. You are much stronger.

    x

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  17. I need help,, after being dumped 5 weeks before i was going to propose to my girlfriend of years,,, I just want to lay down and not wake up, I feel paralyzed

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    1. Please email me, Anon, at lesfloyd@gmail.com? You'll get through this. :-)

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  18. I liked your sharp, honest, well written article. I feel I'm a bit like you (we're the same height, btw) and I hope you reach as many people as possible.
    Personal experience sure gives somebody the authority to speak out and help others.

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  19. Thank you, Gael! :-)

    Really inspired and intrigued by your writing, too. I've sent a friend request on Facebook and will be reading more of you blog.

    I think it's vital that as many of us as possible speak out and offer our empathy and support to those in need. Not everyone 'gets' that I used to be depressed, but those who do have learnt a trick or two to lead them out of that darkness. :-)

    Thank you so much.

    Les

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  20. I can't believe some of the stuff you've been through, Les, but I think it's amazing that you've come out on the metaphorical 'other side' and can share your experiences. I fully agree with everything you're saying and I really admire you for speaking about such personal experiences. I've never been through anything half as bad as some of the things you have, but I take inspiration from your strength. Keep blogging!

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  21. I have personally never suffered from depression, however I think this is because in the same way you think it can be cured, I strongly
    beleive it can be prevented. I think I've done so on many occassion.

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  22. theresa lavelle22 June 2012 00:07

    Beautifully written and refreshingly honest. The colour of the mind is so powerful. It takes courage to take the steps to recognising self destructive patterns living inside your head. love and light can find a way. I think your blogs are helping people and that is such a gift. Keep writing and helping others heal. x

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  23. Your opening statements clicked with me as some people are shocked when they learn I have suffered from depression on and off most of my adult life. Expressions such as...'but you're so happy and bubbly' are common from these people. Thanks for sharing, sharing our experiences are so important.

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  24. Les, it is a beautiful thing to follow the path of a wounded healer - turning your pain and difficult challenges into a platform for helping others. I'll be following and sending love and light your way on a regular basis. Many Blessings, Sloan

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  25. Been there, got the tee shirt. Unfortunately, I still visit.

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  26. Hi Les,

    I'm one of those happy smiley people who always looked on the bright side of everything. Even when my first marriage failed I smiled through a lot of it. I could never ever envisage a time when I would even consider taking my own life, and I could never understand how someone could get so depressed as to want to die. I do now.

    Six months ago I sat in my car in a remote place beside the sea, in a foreign country where I'd made a new life and lived for years, with two bottles of pills in my hand, tears pouring down my cheeks and deep uncontrollable sobs wracking my body with the intention of ending my life. I couldn't believe what I was wanting to do. I'd like to say I didn't go through with it because I knew better or didn't want to hurt anyone, but the truth is I was too afraid. I sat there for a couple of hours and bled every emotion until I was exhausted. Then I became angry, angry at the person who I wrongly believed had driven me to it. I had done it to myself. I'd willingly let them drive me to that place in my mind because I believed them when they said I was 'useless' and 'not a man' and numerous other things. You know why? Because I'd been conditioned from childhood to believe I was nothing.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. If only one person is affected enough by what we write to not take that fateful final step, then we have done enough. If we affect many, then that is so much better.

    Isolation is a breeding ground for depression. Talking openly, through this medium we call the internet, reaches those who can be isolated in other ways.

    Good on you mate. :-)

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  27. Thanks so much for sharing. I read this with tears in my eyes and all emotions on my chest because I want so much to make through it as successfully as you did. All the best.

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  28. It's a great insight to depression reading your blogs, others stories, and to know that for those who suffer/have suffered, from depression, that we are not alone...not by a long shot. I once read, many years ago, that if you commit suicide then when we come back to earth in our next life(if you believe in spiritualism), then we have to go through all the same trauma's again, to heck with that, once round with all my life's traumas is enough! That statement and having children, have kept me grounded here. I am reading a book just now that has mentioned this again and also that what we experience in life are our life lesson's (also that we pre-choose our lives, same as our children are meant to choose their parents?), and that if we couldn't cope with situations, we would not be given them to deal with. That it is all for good reason, whether in our future in this life, or perhaps the next. How we cope with situations though is a personal thing, how we come through them and what we make of them, are our choice. You Les seem to have come out the other end of 'dark' shining and are able to help others through your blog which kind of backs up what I'm saying, your light shines here and now. I use to think that perhaps either I'd had such a blessed life or been an awful person in a past life, that I'd been given this traumatic existence in this life as punishment? But perhaps I've been looking at it wrong, I do believe we are all here for a reason, whether it is to bring our children up to do good things, or to do good things ourselves, who knows? For those who 'lose their way' in what ever form, will in the future, hopefully get it right. Peace of mind and soul is out there, it's just easier or harder for some to grasp than others. Love and Light.

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  29. Les~ seems as though depression (the low spot) has so many symptoms that it represents all transitory conditions where mood and humor are low or morose.
    I suffered insomnia because I had nightmares and I became afraid of them and their repetitive characters that represented my repressed experiences and fears. Then it occurred to me (much later than did you) that they were just,..."thoughts" (or late night caramel slices)and I could use symbolism to destroy them. I have a dream shredder that I use now, and I know that most of my fears are irrational. Like I have a crystal ball that sees all but knows nothing. Here's to the presence of the present, but one cannot gain regular entrance with a "bibbity-bobbity-boo". It takes practice learning how to dismiss the strange stream.(and I breathe......)
    Suddenly, I am obsessed with a depressing compulsion for Mr. K' Caramel slices. Several :) Keep Posting - Arthur

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  30. I stumbled across you by accident, perhaps less by accident and more because two people with similar goals and aims in life to me follow you already on twitter. I'm glad I stumbled across you. It's make my heart catch to read your posts as I realise more about who you are. What I see is a person genuinely interested in being honest and wanting to share yourself with others, partly to help others along their path. Thank you, anyway. And keep writing. :-)

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  31. Les,
    I have been there,
    and done that.
    Glad you made it to find love and peace ...
    LoveU ...
    ~Debbie:)

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  32. Les I love your blog. Thank you for writing about this subject that when people suffer others say: "Just get over it".
    Unless you've been there, YOU can not fathom how awful it is.
    It is easier to get a handle on when things are going well,
    but when bad, (like for me the last 8 mos when my BF just left) been very hard to stay out of the dragon's den....
    :(

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  33. I love your blog- you're one of my new favourites :)

    I'm 19 and I've been diagnosed with clinical depression for 5 years, probably been ill for longer. Thank you for your honest and open discussion of suffering from a mental illness. People like you are the reason the stigma is lessening.

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  34. Dear Les-I want to thank you for sharing your incredible story with us. You are giving hope to so many people that share not only depression, but other difficulties. I have a similar as you about rising up from the hell of depression. I had a chaotic and painful childhood and it caused me to suffer with deep depression, anxiety and panic attacks for many years. Like you, I have not only worked through it, but am stronger and happier than ever. Other than life's big bummers like losing loved ones, I have really learned strategies to deal with stress. Ironically, the point that changed my life was when I was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 41. (BTW-Never Smoked). Here I had obsessed with thoughts of getting sick or dying for years and when I was actually diagnosed with cancer, the worst case scenario happened. It was a experience that showed me I have dealt with the worst in my mind and got through it. I kid around with my doctor now and say that after that shitty experience, what do I have to worry about. The worst happened and I'm still here. I now live everyday and moment with joy and gratitude. Wow, look how your story helped me to vent. Thanks Les and so glad I found your blog. Blessings to you.

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  35. I am getting annoyed at people calling it Bi Polar, what I suffer from is clinical manic depression. It is not curable and it is life long. The depression parts are some times so black and deep that you KNOW there is no way back, but you always somehow grab onto a life raft. I can only try to shorten the period of depression by finding out what is causing it and finding a way of avoiding that. I cannot take anti depressants because it will kick me into a manic episode. I once sat on the settee so depressed I didn't get up for 2 days, not even to go to the loo. I was in total despair. I will never commit suicide because I love my wife, children and grandchildren too much to put them through what happened when my daughters partner gassed himself in a car.

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  36. I lost my mother 10 years ago and the last 5 years have been the worst. Im an only child and my dad is very old and sick and he is dying too. I've suffered from the whole mess - panic, OCD, depression, anxiety - all my life and I feel like a failure all because of a certain person doesn't like me - Ive relied on my dad all my life and suffer from horrible pathetic dependant personality disorder. I cannot stand the pain anymore :0(.

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  37. Unless that person is yourself, it doesn't matter what they people think about you, Eve. What's important is how you treat yourself. You need to make friends with yourself and then you'll be in a stronger position to overcome the other issues in your life. I read through your Twitter feed and you are targeting yourself with very angry, negative words. Please try to turn that around and use only positive words about yourself? I used to feel very similarly to you, but there is a way through this - if you really want to find it.

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  38. POWERFUL write, POWERFUL read, COURAGEOUS write, COURAGEOUS fight to have so well battled and beat down that 'evil depression' which attempts to steal the lives of wonderful people away. You are a great person Les Floyd, you are a great writer. Your life is an 'invaluable assistance' to others (can't put a price on it) through your sharing, your writing. I believe that depression can be conquered, even cured as you do. Thanks for sharing this writing with us. Your friend Kaye ~ @grammakaye on twitter.

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  39. I've had Anorexia and associated depression for over 20 years, and also had 2 psychiatric admissions - 10 months and 18 months. Unfortunately there is still such a stigma attached, and still people who make judgements on you based upon them. I express a lot of these emotions and frustrations through my art, and no longer feel I have to hide myself away or feel ashamed. Although I've lost many years of 'living', I don't waste any more time feeling regret or apologising - I am who I am because of what I've gone through

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  40. I've, fortunately, never been cursed with serious depression, but have friends and family who have been. I admire your courage in talking about it.

    Best regards,

    Hack

    @EHHackney on Twitter. I blog on writing at EHHackney.com

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  41. Anyone who's battled depression can talk about their experiences with others. We shouldn't just leave it to psychiatrists and researchers - have they all suffered from depression?

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  42. Hi there. I was fascinated by what you had to say in the blog entry above. I suffered from depression for years, had various treatments, mostly tablets and then I did CBT and the guy that taught me was a real guru. I learned that I was the author of my inner monologue and that control of my own mind meant control of my body chemistry. I'm a suicide survivor and I know how bad depression can get; CBT gave me control of myself. It doesn't work for everyone, of course. Thanks for sharing. We do need to share depression experiences and social media and blogs are a good way. You're to be commended for putting your experiences 'out there' for people to read. It'll no doubt help someone somewhere.

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  43. Thanks for sharing with us, Les. I'm not sure how some people can say they consider Depression a disease and not be open to the possibility it can be cured. Folks should be encouraged by your story.

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  44. For reasons I'm not going to go into, I lived with depression and self loathing from an early age. By the time I reached adulthood it was my norm and I reconfigured the notion of 'happy' to get by. It wasn't until I plummeted into acute anxiety and woke from a very vivid dream of falling into insanity determined not to go there, that I began to believe that belief systems could be upturned.
    Altering self perception and flawed belief systems takes help, or in my case, a catalyst and lots of outside help. Depression is self indulgent, self destructive and sneaky and I think labeling it a disease is a mistake. We really shouldn't give it a life of its own or we will believe its beyond our control.
    Thanks for sharing - it's good to talk.

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  45. I found this post to be extremely gut-wrenching, and I applaud you for sharing..I have personally found it to be much more convenient to live in a state of 'unfeeling' for most of my life, moving from one addiction to the next, each offering a different type of solace..I'm not unhappy at the moment, I feel like I've been doing these things so long, I'm terrified as to what it would be, to be 'normal'. I respect you for being able to come as far as you have and wanting to help other people. I find your posts quite revealing and fascinating. Anyway, thanks so much..Cheers

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  46. I think you have more than enough experience to speak about depression. I was touched deeply by your story. Amazing story of survival and spirit. It took a ton of courage to share it. The more you do the power of story will heal your soul. Thanks for sharing.

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  47. Great story and very important. People who say depression CAN'T be overcome baffle me. It's almost an attitude that says 'Don't you dare take my depression from me!' it's all I've got. However, as you've shown, life can be a joyful experience no matter how deep you've fallen.
    I also wrote an article on this theme which may be of interest http://www.screwthesystemnow.com/blog/why-you-should-feel-happy-about-being-depressed

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