What do I do if medications and therapy haven’t worked for my depression? I have tried many different treatment regimes and nothing seems effective. Why?

A question from Quora being answered…

Our answer:

First off, let me say, I feel for you and I know *exactly* how you feel.

All I can do is tell you my story – you have some great answers before mine, so… take it all in.

Personally, I did not even know I was “depressed” for at least ten years of living in depression. Then, at the very end, I broke down and talked to my doctor about it. She prescribed something, and WOW – it worked!

Of course, a few months later it was no longer working.

And for the next 10 years, I went on prescription after prescription and mixes thereof and I just went up and down and all around.

Self-medicating was a problem. Over prescriptions were a problem. It was … a problem.

Finally – three things happened. I became a patient of a very good psychiatrist and he took me back to one single medication that I had been on once or twice already. He changed the dosage though. And he monitored and gave it a chance. He made ME give it a chance.

On his direction, I also started an RTMS regime. (Click here for more on RTMS.)This fit very well with my belief and practice in meditation, and the retraining of neural pathways – basically, recognizing the brain as the source and recognizing that it can change its wiring – kinda the way it did in order to get and *stay* depressed.

And finally, I got to know my brain a little better – I can now recognize when a thought stream will let me spiral down – and in recognizing it, I have the opportunity to stop it before it gets out of control. Maybe the meditation and RTMS have helped with that too.

I am very glad that you came here and wrote this. You are not alone, and there really are solutions. It is so important that you know that – that is the foundation on which you can build.

Hope this helps. Take good care and let us know how you are doing. 🙂

HVA

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Summoning happiness to aid recovery

From Harvard

 

Positive psychology exercises boost moods of those struggling with addiction says MGH study

Short writing exercises reliving happy moments boosted the moods of adults recovering from addiction in a study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Recovery Research Institute.

“Recovery is hard,” said lead author Bettina B. Hoeppner, senior research scientist at the institute and an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. “For the effort to be sustainable, positive experiences need to be attainable along the way.”

More than 500 people struggling with addiction participated in the randomized, online survey. They each were assigned one of five psychology exercises that took an average of four minutes to complete.

Participants reported the greatest mood lift after completing an exercise that had them select and describe one of their own photos capturing a happy time. An exercise in which participants noted two positive experiences from the previous day led to the next-highest gains in happiness, followed by one that had them list a highlight and a challenge from the day before and a pleasure anticipated the next day. Those who were asked to write only about challenges they had faced the previous day saw a dip in happiness.

The study’s authors say exercises such as the ones used in their study hold promise as a tool for promoting happiness during treatment, which may help support long-term recovery.

“Addiction scientists are increasingly moving beyond the traditional focus on reducing or eliminating substance use by advocating treatment protocols that encompass quality of life,” Hoeppner said. “Yet orchestrated positive experiences are rarely incorporated into treatment.”

You Should Meditate Every Day

From the New York Times

Because I live in Northern California, where this sort of thing is required by local ordinance, I spent New Year’s Day at a meditation center, surrounded by hundreds of wealthy, well-meaning, Patagonia-clad white people seeking to restore order and balance to their tech-besotted lives.

In the past, I might have mocked such proceedings, but lately I’ve grown fond of performative sincerity in the service of digital balance. It’s the people who haven’t resigned themselves to meditation retreats who now make me most nervous, actually.

Which brings me to my point: It’s 2019. Why haven’t you started meditating, already? Why hasn’t everyone?

I’ve been a technology journalist for nearly 20 years and a tech devotee even longer. Over that time, I’ve been obsessed with how the digital experience scrambles how we make sense of the real world.

Read more here…