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HealthCare & Wellness Breaking the Chains of Addiction. The Last Door Recovery Society
Mature discussion surrounding important health issues and concerns. Alternative therapies, healthcare questions, discussion of community resources, peer support help, group therapy, etc.
Making a documentary on depression... input please!
Hey guys. I have recently started working on a documentary about depression and bipolar. I have bipolar disorder myself, and my father and uncle both had depression and both took their own lives. It's a very personal topic for me, and with the experiences of myself and others I know, I feel a need to find a way to help others with mental illnesses. I decided the best way would be to work on a documentary. I'm not sure how it'll be released yet, but the main goal is to help as many people as possible rather than earn as much money as possible. I'll likely look into a Kickstarter project to help with funding.
Anyway, the reason for this post is to get some input from you guys. Someone of you will have personal experience with depression, some will know people who have suffered from depression, and perhaps some will not have any experience with depression.
I'd like to get a dialogue going in this thread around the following ideas/questions:
- How would you define depression?
- What's your perception of someone with depression?
- If you have depression, are you open about it to others?
- Are you worried about the stigma attached to mental health?
- Have you had friends or family share their struggle with depression?
Basically any experiences or views about depression are welcome. And as far as the documentary goes, are there any people in certain roles you would like to see interviewed, are there any questions you'd really like to delve into?
Don't know if it's just me but depression for me felt like hell, literally. Was alone to my thoughts for around a year with minimum contact and no advice. Was sort of a lone journey for me, and seems like nothing can work out your way, no matter how hard you try. However, i endured this phase and one day seemed like everything clicked and i felt fine and felt at peace. Not sure if this would be depression for me, but more like a lone long journey..
it didn't really cross my mind because i knew no one could have helped me, this is something you have to learn for yourself.. and i'm glad i did it that way, if i were for someone to simply guide me out i wouldn't be who i am today
Iíve been meaning to write about my experience with depression for quite some time, but Iíve had a hard time getting my thoughts down. This thread has helped with my focus.
How would you define depression? (with great difficulty)
- Depression is a symptom of a bigger problem.
- It magnifies the lows in life while muting, numbing, and denying the highs.
- It is NOT to be confused with being sad.
- It is a slow erosion of the self.
- It is a fight against an invisible enemy that keeps changing form. Depression is mercurial and is very difficult to explain. For example, how do you live when 50-90% of your energy is used up just trying to cope? Different people respond in different ways, making the condition a very personal experience. The intensity of the depression also varies. Also, how do you respond after being depressed for only a few weeks? After a few months? A year? Five years? A decade?
What's your perception of someone with depression?
- I see someone in pain.
If you have depression, are you open about it to others?
- Personally, it took a lot of time for me to be open about it. I hid my condition for a long time, but then I deteriorated to the point that I couldnít hide it anymore. By that point I didnít give a shit what people thought anyway.
- My main concern was more about not wanting to take people who were close to me down with me. I never wanted to be a downer but only had a limited amount of energy to fake normal. Emotions are contagious and itís not easy to watch someone you care about suffer. Itís also not easy knowing that your suffering is negatively affecting people you care about, consequently making the depression worse. Although 99% of the worst of my depression was spent in isolation, I also knew that my isolation was unhealthy and feeding my depression too. I NEEDED other people to get better. Being ďopenĒ therefore is a bit of a Catch22.
- In a sense, I often needed to be a selfish emotional vampire and hurt people I cared about in order to survive. Piling on this mental, emotional, and ethical mindfuck while already feeling miserable didnít help my condition. I suspect that this issue is a strong contributing factor as to why many people take their own lives. No one likes to feel like a burden.
Are you worried about the stigma attached to mental health?
- I donít like the label of mental health when it comes to depression, as it is only a part of the condition. Depression is part mental, part emotional, part physiological, part metaphysical (or ďspiritualĒ if you prefer). To call it a mental health issue is to deny the other parts.
- As for the stigma attached to depression, I am split into two. On the one hand, I am not ashamed of what I have gone through. On the other hand, I donít want to be reduced to a label, particularly one that is so misunderstood. Only the thought that I can help other people makes me want to speak up.
Have you had friends or family share their struggle with depression?
- Iíve met many people with depression over the years, but none who have it as long and as severe. Iím not saying that Iíve experienced the worst of the worst, but I suspect the more serious cases donít get out much.
the more you sustain the bigger the reward after you get out of it, how long have you been in it?
Its hard to pinpoint the beginning of my depression. Early teens? I probably could have been diagnosed in high school. Iím 34 now. For me it was gradual erosion.
Mood, concentration, and energy levels were on a continual decline. Just powering through became increasingly difficult.
I went for help for the first time in late 2006. By this point I could barely function. I was on medication until last October.
Two years ago I found out that I had an abscessed tooth. To make a very long story short, for many years my body was fighting an infection, basically making overcoming depression physically impossible. It took a year for the infection to completely heal and took me another year for me to come off the medication
A friend then sent me this link about Niacin last October:
Foralark, I'm glad to hear things are going so well for you now! I'm in a similar state right now, rebuilding my life, getting back in shape, figuring out what I want to do for work, all the fun stuff like that :P
I have a bit more direction with the documentary now. Instead of just talking about depression and talking to a few people with depression, I want to also focus on ways to improve awareness, both for adults/families and within high school. I think there's a lot more that could be done in high school to help raise awareness and educate students about depression and other mental illnesses.