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Hi there! I know I'm relatively new on the forum, but I wanted to ask a question, and source opinions on this. I've had problems with depression and poor mental health since I was, sadly, a young child, with a complicated life history. I try and get over things, and I do have some successes, but sometimes I seem to take one step forward and two steps back.

 

I wanted to ask, how do you all deal with feelings of depression, if you have issues with such? How do you relate the lessons learned in MLP into helping with such things as mental health issues? Or things outside the show, maybe certain quotes, or books, or religious tidbits. What helps YOU when it comes to things like depression?

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I struggled with depression and anxiety for ~11 years before my parents finally convinced me to talk to a therapist. And it wasn't even much of a struggle; it absolutely kicked my ass, every day, all the time. I kept having little epiphanies about how I was looking at life the wrong way, and I always thought that this time I had it figured out, I knew why I was anxious and alone and I was going to start living the way I was meant to. And it never did anything. I was still afraid to open up to people and still felt helpless, like a failure. In college I mostly skipped classes and drank a lot of beer. I hated walking to and from class because I'd see all the people walking around in little groups and it made me terribly self-conscious. I felt like an alien, like they were all analyzing my every move. I hated my art and my writing and felt like the future was a black hole sucking me in. Dropped out after two years, thought I'd get a job but kept putting it off because I knew that every time in the past I've been a part of something like school or a job where things were expected of me I've slipped into a massive depression.

If there's a chemical imbalance in your brain, no amount of positive thinking is going to help you. I'm on medication now, sertraline specifically, and it's absolutely turned my life around. I've been able to hold a job for a month now, and a difficult one at that, without losing the will to live as I would have certainly done in the past. Chronic, long-term depression is a physical illness, and you can't positive-think your way out of it anymore than you can talk yourself out of having the flu. You may have some success with things like meditation, an enjoyable hobby, or adjusting your way of thinking, but if you want to hit the problem at its source, I recommend fighting chemistry with chemistry.

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3 minutes ago, Friendship is Horses said:

I struggled with depression and anxiety for ~11 years before my parents finally convinced me to talk to a therapist. And it wasn't even much of a struggle; it absolutely kicked my ass, every day, all the time. I kept having little epiphanies about how I was looking at life the wrong way, and I always thought that this time I had it figured out, I knew why I was anxious and alone and I was going to start living the way I was meant to. And it never did anything. I was still afraid to open up to people and still felt helpless, like a failure. In college I mostly skipped classes and drank a lot of beer. I hated walking to and from class because I'd see all the people walking around in little groups and it made me terribly self-conscious. I felt like an alien, like they were all analyzing my every move. I hated my art and my writing and felt like the future was a black hole sucking me in. Dropped out after two years, thought I'd get a job but kept putting it off because I knew that every time in the past I've been a part of something like school or a job where things were expected of me I've slipped into a massive depression.

If there's a chemical imbalance in your brain, no amount of positive thinking is going to help you. I'm on medication now, sertraline specifically, and it's absolutely turned my life around. I've been able to hold a job for a month now, and a difficult one at that, without losing the will to live as I would have certainly done in the past. Chronic, long-term depression is a physical illness, and you can't positive-think your way out of it anymore than you can talk yourself out of having the flu. You may have some success with things like meditation, an enjoyable hobby, or adjusting your way of thinking, but if you want to hit the problem at its source, I recommend fighting chemistry with chemistry.

I totally agree on the chemical imbalance front, as I am on setraline myself. However, it doesn't TOTALLY stop the bad feelings, while it does help quite a bit. I've been meaning to try some talking therapies in order to discuss some things in my past and such, maybe help myself emotionally.

 

It's good to hear someone else's perspective on this, it goes a long way to helping me understanding things a lot better, knowing I'm not alone in this. Thank you dude. :boop:

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I deal with my depression by praying to Gaia the earth mother

and talking bout it

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I had some depressive years too, but I didn't know MLP yet. So it never helped me.

I used to be an "undead" student with no willingness on learning things I hated (electricity/electronic). Plus because of the daily journey school/home in overcrowded transports, I had no time to do anything. I admit that I had lucky because I never tried to go out this depression. It's gone when I studied computing, back again when I found shitty jobs and had humiliation for staying with my parents as a 24yo adult. And finally it's definitively gone when I owned my first apartment and worked for myself in programming.

Now I think I can be no longer depressive because of ponies and a stable life.

All that I know is bad feeling bring worst. I think there is no shame in being helped, and most of time people just need some words, like a new point of view. Even if they are behind a screen, 10 000 kms away, friendship is magic.

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I was never diagnosed with depression, but I did go through a rough period around 2012 and 2013. Felt like I had nowhere to go and nothing I did would be any good.

I have those days every few months or so but my life has improved for the better these past 2 years.

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I never actually saw anyone about it, but there was a period of several years where I would continuously switch between being depressed and thinking everything was fine. During those bad times, I thought that no one really cared about me and that my life didn't matter at all. I thought that I could completely close myself off, or even kill myself, and it would be like nothing ever happened. No one would notice.

The one strategy I recommend: find someone who cares about you, get their phone number, and when you feel like that, text them your thoughts. While I was going through my hard times, I would text my friends with some of the most depressing things I've ever thought, including multiple times saying that the only reason I didn't kill myself was because I knew I wasn't strong enough to do it. Even though they never responded, I knew that they at least knew what I was thinking, and that they wouldn't let me take anything too far. On more then one occasion, I had them text me after periods of silence making sure that I hadn't actually tried to kill myself, and I know that if I didn't answer, they would have been on the phone getting help immediately.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just let it out. Just make sure you have someone there to help in case it gets bad. Since I found the furry, and then later the brony, fandoms, the waves of depression have gotten few and far between, but they still happen. But I know I can get through them, because I know I have friends there to help. But MLP has definitely helped. Find things you love to do, and if you start to have bad thoughts again, get to doing those things you love as soon as you can.

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20 hours ago, Shadow Dash said:

I never actually saw anyone about it, but there was a period of several years where I would continuously switch between being depressed and thinking everything was fine. During those bad times, I thought that no one really cared about me and that my life didn't matter at all. I thought that I could completely close myself off, or even kill myself, and it would be like nothing ever happened. No one would notice.

The one strategy I recommend: find someone who cares about you, get their phone number, and when you feel like that, text them your thoughts. While I was going through my hard times, I would text my friends with some of the most depressing things I've ever thought, including multiple times saying that the only reason I didn't kill myself was because I knew I wasn't strong enough to do it. Even though they never responded, I knew that they at least knew what I was thinking, and that they wouldn't let me take anything too far. On more then one occasion, I had them text me after periods of silence making sure that I hadn't actually tried to kill myself, and I know that if I didn't answer, they would have been on the phone getting help immediately.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just let it out. Just make sure you have someone there to help in case it gets bad. Since I found the furry, and then later the brony, fandoms, the waves of depression have gotten few and far between, but they still happen. But I know I can get through them, because I know I have friends there to help. But MLP has definitely helped. Find things you love to do, and if you start to have bad thoughts again, get to doing those things you love as soon as you can.

I totally agree with you on all those points. Finding things I love to do have been instrumental in helping me out mentally, as if it's a hobby like wargaming, I can switch my mind off and paint. If it's music, I can sit and soak in all the different sounds and textures. Strength training, I can get all of my frustration out and smash personal records. And MLP... I can just watch something nice. Main reason I've stayed with it, in all truth, it's just so nice and positive.

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On 22/05/2017 at 8:12 AM, Nightshroud said:

hey guy if you ever need to talk just pm me I my be able to help you

Thank you dude, that's a really nice offer to send, and I'll gladly take you up if I need you. :)

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I just remind myself the wind will keep on blowing the next day, despite whatever I'm feeling or do.  So I just try and pass the time in whatever way sucks less...usually I'll grab a beer and just try to find something that I can do to unwind and take my mind off of things.  Doing things with the wife and kids that make them happy will usually cheer me up, so I might go play soccer or frisbee or something like that or take them out to eat since the kids having a good time will probably lighten my mood. Sometimes I just want to be alone if it is really bad, so might listen to music or go sit outside or fiddle around with something in the yard or garage.  I like to be outside a lot of times if I'm feeling down, no matter how hot or cold.  That usually helps me out.

 

If it lasts longer than a few hours or I just can't get things out of my mind, then I usually vent to my wife about whatever is on my mind and she always finds a way to fix the problem, even if I'm depressed about something with her or the kids or family etc.  I think having a good friend or someone who listens and you can relate to definitely helps a lot, even if it is hard to want to talk to anyone.  I'm pretty anxious and not at all the kind of person that likes to be around many people, especially if I'm depressed, but I know enough to recognize that if I'm feeling down and can't get over it that I should just spill whatever it is and see if someone can help me through it, which hasn't failed me yet and often wish I had done it sooner. 

 

I also promised my wife that I'd stay married to her for at least 80 years, so I don't want to be called a liar anytime soon.  Long term goals can be helpful.  Having a cool community here to let you know you aren't alone is also pretty awesome,  and ponies!! lol

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I went though quite a rough childhood, never really seeing my farther because of his job and then to see him leave for someone else. Kinda hard for a 7 year old to take in at the time, Then we moved to the other side of the country which I really didn't like. The next few years gradually got worse, from family members getting extremely ill to growing up without a supportive male role model. It was tough, and my brain went places where it should never go. But what Saved me was my awesome group of friends, drawing (mlp and other stuff) and most importantly, flying. Flying gave me a sense of achievement and freedom. I put my troubles below me, literally!! It gave me something to take my mind of school and my troubles at the time. I'm now fully independent with a decent paying job and have been told by family that I have grown up amazingly after them seeing what I went through. I can only be greatful 

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