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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a thread about a month ago and got some real advice. My relationship is over, and I'm in the process of moving out on my own. The problem is that my confindence is totally shot and I can not shake this depression. I have a 12 year daughter to look after, and I dont want this to rub off on her in any kind of way. I'm open to any advice as to how to go about picking myself up and moving forward. Some other factors include, no steady job-I have 6 months of savings from a previous deployment to get started-Im in college so my military benefits allow me to draw base housing allowance. Ok im ready. Go!
 

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What kind of depression? What's the problem you can't get over? How do you feel right now, and how do you want to feel? Giving you the wrong kind of antidepressant will make everything worse, but giving you the right one will fix everything.

The 3 main targets are dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. These are gross oversimplifications, but dopamine helps with things like optimism for finding solutions, desire, and motivation to do things. Serotonin is calming, it relieves anxiety, and it causes optimism because it makes people care less about everything. Noradrenaline helps with energy, focus, decision making, and attention span.

Dopamine: (example drug = amphetamine)
If you want to have the desire to do things properly like take care of yourself and clean the house, you'll want dopamine. People who take incredibly powerful dopamine stimulants like amphetamine or methamphetamine find themselves doing things like taking down the entire book shelf so they can sort all of the books in alphabetical order. Dopamine makes people want to create order from disorder. Random piles of junk on the floor get sorted and thrown out. The meth song (youtube it) showed a person compulsively cleaning everything. On prescription Dexedrine (amphetamine), I was able to change the oil in my car in less than 20 minutes because it felt like I was thinking 10 steps ahead at all times; it usually takes more than an hour because I get side tracked and can't find things immediately. Dopamine will make you meticulously go through every line of your taxes and double check every calculation. Dopamine will make you apply for jobs, make phone calls, and get things done. Dopamine prevents fatigue and boredom, so you'll do things the right way instead of taking short cuts. That could involve things like driving to Home Depot to buy proper fasteners instead of saving time and using duct tape to hold things together. A person surging with dopamine will spend hours doing the most basic things just to make sure everything is perfect. My uncle could really use a dopamine drug; his house turned into a giant pile of clutter after his wife left. That was maybe 20 years ago, and he has yet to recover.

Serotonin: (example drug = fluoxetine)
Serotonin makes everything feel less important or less significant, so things can roll off your back easily. My dad died while I was taking Prozac (fluoxetine), and it didn't bother me at all. I found myself trying to comfort people who barely knew him because they were a lot more upset than I was. I missed 0 days of work because I could easily stop thinking about that loss and focus on whatever I had to do at work, which is mostly mental work. My mom was deeply affected by dad dying, so her place was becoming cluttered and disorganized. I felt great on Prozac, so I helped her sort through junk and clean the place. I would definitely recommend Prozac for dealing with losses or problems that are beyond your control.

Noradrenaline: (example drug = ephedrine)
Noradrenaline is great if you already know what you want to do, but it never seems to get done. I want to shower, but I don't feel like doing it right now. I want to fix the door, but it's too much work. I want to ____, but I would rather just lay here in bed. Noradrenaline gives you that energy and focus needed to get things done, but you'll only do the things that you already wanted to do. Noradrenaline stimulants like ephedrine won't make you randomly decide to organize the book shelf, but dopamine stimulants will. Noradrenaline greatly helps with decision making. If I take a bunch of ephedrine before shopping, I find it much easier to shop. Juice A or B? Juice A. Instead of pondering it for a minute, I can pick one in 2 seconds. How much milk should I buy? I'll know the answer immediately. Things like driving are all about decision making, so noradrenaline stimulants like ephedrine make driving significantly easier. It'll make you notice the traffic patterns in every lane, understand how fast every car is going, predict if you'll have enough space to pass in 3 seconds, etc. Those idiots who merge at half the speed limit would be safer drivers if they took ephedrine or atomoxetine before driving.

Asking a doctor for drug recommendations is a complete waste of time. They don't know what you want or need, so they're basically just guessing. Only you can decide what is best for you. If I didn't explicitly tell my doctor what I wanted to try, I would probably still be taking some garbage drug that does nothing. Read the wikipedia entries about antidepressants, the drug categories, and each drug you want to try. After reading wiki, you'll know more than most doctors.

Drugs are broken into categories based on what they do. SSRI drugs like Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) mostly increase serotonin, and they have very little effect on the other two neurotransmitters. SNRI drugs like Effexor (venlafaxine) boost noradrenaline and serotonin. DNRI drugs like Wellbutrin (bupropion) boost dopamine and noradrenaline. MAOI drugs like Nardil (phenelzine) and Parnate (tranylcypromine) increase all 3 as well as several other things in the brain.


The most powerful and effective antidepressant by a HUGE margin, in my opinion, is Nardil (phenelzine). It's an irreversible MAOI, so it drives everything through the roof. Dopamine goes up, serotonin goes up, noradrenaline goes up. The effects are actually very similar to the street drug MDMA. It drives serotonin so high that my eyes dilate a lot, and people think I'm high, which is technically true. Unlike illegal drugs and many prescription drugs, Nardil has no withdrawal. Being an irreversible MAOI, it takes a solid 2 weeks for the body to rebuild all of the MAO enzyme destroyed by phenelzine. I can skip the dose for several days and have no withdrawal. Antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor are the opposite; they have very extreme withdrawal if one stops taking it for a day.

Prozac is probably the best SSRI. Like Nardil, it has no withdrawal effects. It takes several weeks to properly metabolize Prozac and all of its daughter products, so it never crashes out.
 

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Have you tried counseling for yourself? Even if you were on medication, talk therapy is very benifical as well.
 

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Not wanting it to rub off onto your daughter is understandable, chances are it is going to be noticed by her and/or affect her at some point. Perhaps try some FC with your daughter even if things are ok now it might help you both navigate your relationship and handle the ups and downs life gives and depression can amplify.
 

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I posted a thread about a month ago and got some real advice. My relationship is over, and I'm in the process of moving out on my own. The problem is that my confindence is totally shot and I can not shake this depression. I have a 12 year daughter to look after, and I dont want this to rub off on her in any kind of way. I'm open to any advice as to how to go about picking myself up and moving forward. Some other factors include, no steady job-I have 6 months of savings from a previous deployment to get started-Im in college so my military benefits allow me to draw base housing allowance. Ok im ready. Go!
It comes with time.
Your life is a lot like mine from the sounds of it.
Every day do some small positive thing for yourself.
Your confidence and joy of life will come back.
You have to work at it though, whereas before you took it for granted, when you get it back this time you will OWN it. Nobody will be able to take it away from you, and your daughter will only benefit from seeing you do this for yourself. Just be honest with her. As for depression, you said you were deployed so you can get counseling at the closest VA outreach center or hospital or you might find it's easier to get it at your school (those most schools won't take on prior conditions, a lack of confidence with regard to school environment and career building is within the realm of mental health services in a school setting.)
Don't forget to have some fun. Fun for me at school involves taking advantage of a free ski pass, and sometimes writing for the college newspaper. I also like my classes. If you're following the boring and short-sighted advice of that educational briefing officer of making sure you major in something that will be 'profitable' and is not fun, change your major. Doing something you aren't enthusiastic about isn't going to be profitable at all. No amount of Rx can get you to get up in the morning to go to a job (or school program) that you hate, just because it makes sense and you're afraid of failing at what you'd really like to be doing. I'm majoring in comparative literature and you wouldn't believe the doors it's opened for me because of my (1) enthusiasm and (2) past experience that I can bring to the table. Both military and otherwise.

Confidence building is mostly going to come from trusting yourself to make sure you have fun with your life. Of course, be responsible, but the way you do that is unique to your situation, not playing it safe by regressing to the mean and the 'rules' that will allow you to justify failure by pointing out that you followed advice and made good choices (but the economy failed, but the industry dried up, but you couldn't move to take the jobs that were available...etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your input. I will apply it and see what happens. We are moving into our own place today, although it's a bit stressful I feel it's a good stress. We're laughing, having a good time and things are going well right now. Today is going to be a good day!
 
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