Depression
Speakers: LadyPsy, sfvg and Sojourner
September 1997



  DCs^kitN: I'd like to take a moment to thank you all for joining us this evening. Our speakers tonite will be LdyPsy and sfvg_Sojourne who will introduce themselves in a moment. If you will all please be so kind to wait until the speakers are done, and we will entertain comments (!) or questions (?) at that time. KttN will be directing the queue and we ask for your attention during the speakers and your thoughts and questions during the comment

DCs^kitN: and now if LadyPsy would be so kind to give us a brief background and begin......we'll get started

LadyPsy: Hello. I'm a clinical psychologist who is working on her licensing.

LadyPsy: I'e worked with depressed people of all sorts.

LadyPsy: I am a Dom who has recently become involved with the SD scene.

sfvg_Sojr: sfvg_Sojr are 2 people at one computer (really, I'm not schizo!). sfvg is sfvg, a female submissive who has bouts with depression.. Sojr is Sojourner, a male Dom who has in the past suffered from depression, been through counseling, and was on medication for a time...

sfvg_Sojr: S=Sojourner s=sfvg for purposes of identification

sfvg_Sojr: (s) I asked for this panel to be put one because in a number of listserves and in real-life I have been seeing...what appears to be a number of people suffering from depression or involved with someone who is suffering. They don't recognize it or understand it...What we plan to do tomight is a 3 part discussion. The first part will be definition time (for lack of a better word)...: We will tell you what depression, is, isn't, the signs, and some of the treatments...

sfvg_Sojr: Then we wil allow questions/comments. The second part is about how the BDSM lifestyle can affect depression and some of things you can do to mitigate it or at least be aware of what you are doing.

sfvg_Sojr: We will then have questions/comments again. The last part will be some of us talking about our real-life experiences with depression and what we did/are doing about it. Then last but not least, questions/comments again. Ane that's the outline folks 8-).

LadyPsy: Hello eveyone...

LadyPsy: The most common question is...

LadyPsy: What is depression

LadyPsy: Depression is a one type of of a class of disorders called

LadyPsy: Mood Disorders.

LadyPsy: The main thing that happens is a change in mood.

LadyPsy: People often are embarrassed to admit they have had depression...but 13% of men and 22% of women will be diagnosed with depression in their lifetime.

LadyPsy: Women are often diagnosed more because in our culture it is more acceptabe for women to have depression. Men may actually have just as much depression, but it is diagnosd as something different.

LadyPsy: Most people have times where they feel depressed or bummed...however this is different than being clinically depressed. In clinical depression, people ofen have symptoms of depression for a longer period of time, than just a day or two. In fact, a person must have symptoms for over two consecutive weeks...but they can last much longer...

LadyPsy: Another difference is the severity of the feelings of depression.

LadyPsy: People often may not know they are depressed when they really are...Symptoms tend to creep up on people and...often it is friends or family who receognize depression first.

LadyPsy: Let's discuss the symptoms of depression...

LadyPsy: First, depression effects how people feel, think, and behave.

LadyPsy: Sometimes, people are effected more in one area than another.

LadyPsy: The most common symptoms are a feelings of depression...sadness...changes in patience and tolerance...irritability...and a lack of pleasure in anything.

LadyPsy: People also may feel hopeless..helpless, worthless, and guilty without knowing why.

LadyPsy: These feelings oten become overwhelming...so that people feel that they are in a whirlpool of emotion...that they can't control.

LadyPsy: Sometimes these intense feelings are scary for people.

LadyPsy: Some common symptoms of thought problems are...

^LadyPsy: Sorry guys...I was rudely disconnected...I was talking about other symptoms of depression...

^LadyPsy: I wanted to add that some people suffer from poor concentration and memory problems

^LadyPsy: Sometimes, suicidal thoughts may occur in some people...but it does not occur inall people... you can be depressed without being suicidal.

^LadyPsy: Finally...most people who suffer from depression...go through what's called social withdrawal...this is when people tend to stop interacting with others.

^LadyPsy: They withdraw from contact...they stop going to parties, do hobbies, not talk ont he telephone,not want to go out, or dress...have difficulty getting out of bed.

^LadyPsy: People often have no energy...just waking up seems to be a monumentla TASK

^LadyPsy: These symtpoms may occur at home, at the wrkplace or both.

^LadyPsy: Sometimes, people are able to work without anyproblems,...but relationships crash and burn or visa versa.

^LadyPsy: Any questions on symptoms?<done>

sfvg_Sojr: (s) I think LadyPsy has been split from the server, so S and s are going to continue it.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) An inability to concentrate is one of the most common thought problems...I know that I can't concentrate enough to read a book when I am very depressed.

sfvg_Sojr: (S) A change in sleep pattern is also common. Either too much or too little.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) This doesn't mean 1 hour change but rather a substantial change that continues on for a while.

sfvg_Sojr: (S) Also a radical change in weight (either up or down) can occur. Keep in mind that you don't need to exhibit all of this symptoms to actually have a problem with depression.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) In fact, I don't have them all but the ones I do have, I have for a long period of time and they usually get progressively worse.

sfvg_Sojr: (S) The biggest with depression is that it really interfears with how one wants to live their life.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) Depression is a condition that 'usually' doesn't get better by itself (at least the first time). It usually requires outside intervention.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) Yeah, she's back. We'll let her take back over and continue. <done, thank god>

tatianya: i have to ask about chemical depression caused by chemotherapy..does it go away after the therapy is done?

^LadyPsy: Sometimes the effect of chemotherapy last after it's been completed...

^LadyPsy: It can last 3 to 4 months more...

^LadyPsy: If it lasts longer, you should talk to your doctor.

tatianya: thank you..

^LadyPsy: Sometimes the chemical neurotransmitters in the brain need time to get back to normal...or they need a kick start with medications...<done>

tatianya: thank you

TheKttN: GA courtesan

courtesan: I think LadyPsy answered it already, answering tat's question, but is th ere a difference or what is the difference between depession and chemical brain imbalance???

^LadyPsy: One cause of Depression is from a lack of certain chemicalsin the brain.

^LadyPsy: Certain chemicals help...this is when anti-depression drugs are given to people.

^LadyPsy: One such drug is Prozac...it works on a chimical called serotonin.

courtesan nods

^LadyPsy: It helps increase the amount of seritonin in the brain..

^LadyPsy: other drugs which work on this are Zoloft...Paxil...Other drugs work on different chemicals...

courtesan nods

^LadyPsy: One type of drug is elavil...

^LadyPsy: <done>

TheKttN: GA sofG

softG: I have been diagnosed with dystemic disorder how does that effect depression?

^LadyPsy: I think you mean Dysthymic....

^LadyPsy: This is another type of depressin...where people have long term depression, over two years... however, the lows are not so intense...it still is depression....but you need to talk to your doctor in order to make sure this is what you mean.<done>

GOD-DESS: i take paxil as well, soft

TheKttN: GA tatianya

mstyis: LadyPsy....excuse me..u are a psychiatrist? psychologist?

tatianya: how can you help someone who cannot take antidepressants due to chemotherapy?

^LadyPsy: Another form of treatment is therapy...it is non-medication based...but often is very effective in treating depression.

tatianya: but.......

^LadyPsy: There are many forms of therapy fo depression...

softG: I am currently taking 45 mg of paxil a day and have been in this depression for 30 years when will be over

^LadyPsy: Tough one...

^LadyPsy: Sometimes...people suffr off and on with depression all their lives...or sometimes people may experience just one episode...

^LadyPsy: In cases of chronic depression, it is often best to see a doctor or therapist for individualized attention.

^LadyPsy: <done>

softG: i have and still am in therapy

softG: thank you

TheKttN: GA jezebele

jezebele: i have been depressed 11 years but the last year have turned anorexic dropping 1/3 my weight - yet i'm older. since i didn't speak up for help ...

jezebele: i am wondering is it maybe not a true anorexia -- just my body getting attention for me?

^LadyPsy: Depression is often seen with many other disorders...Depression can be a secondary problem to something else...

^LadyPsy: Any drastic changes in one's eating or sleeping habits needs to be checked by a doctor.

^LadyPsy: It's the best thing to do...<done>

jezebele: thank you

TheKttN: we will continue with part 2

^LadyPsy: We talked a littl about treatment of depression...there are many forms of treatment...

^LadyPsy: There are three major types...medication only...therapy only...and a combination of medication and therapy...

^LadyPsy: Each person is unique.

^LadyPsy: Sometimes a person must try several treatments before finding success.

^LadyPsy: Within therapy, there are several different types...

^LadyPsy: According to research...cognitive therapy, which focuses on how people think, is most useful...however, the best predictor of successful treatment is how the ...client and therapist work together...

^LadyPsy: In other words...youneed to find a therapist who you like and is good at their job...therapy works best then regardless of the type of therapy done.

^LadyPsy: Don't be afraid to try medication if it is suggested to you.

^LadyPsy: Most people feel as if they have somehow "failed" if they need meds.

^LadyPsy: But, it is only a way to get the brain chemicals back online.

^LadyPsy: There is nothing to be ashamed of!

^LadyPsy: <done>

sfvg_Sojr: (s) A comment on medication...

sfvg_Sojr: Once you start on anti-depressants it can take up to a month before they have any effect.

sfvg_Sojr: Also once you are on them and start to feel better, DO NOT STOP TAKING THEM!

sfvg_Sojr: You need to talk to your doctor but they usually want you on the medication for 1 year before weaning you off of them. If you don't feel better in a month or two, the medication may not be working for you, let your doctor know. There are 'plenty' of anti-depressant drugs out there. <done>

^LadyPsy: Yes....also be aware of side-effects

sfvg_Sojr: (S)Also to those of you are afrid of taking meds...they do not turn you into some catatonic drooling idiots...

^LadyPsy: Side effects include...changes in sleeping...some pills must be taken in the morning because they may cause insomnia

^LadyPsy: Also...for men...they may cause erectile difficulties

^LadyPsy: for both sexes...they may cause a lack of sexual interest....however, a lack of sexual interet is a common symptom of depression anyway

sfvg_Sojr: all they do is shave off the lowest dip and highest peaks. And let us experience life like those who have proper chemical balances in their brain <done>

^LadyPsy: <done>

TheKttN: are we ready for questions?

TheKttN: GA jezebele

jezebele: i'm on 40 mgs prozac ffor depression yet i was told by one psychiatrist that it's not a good choice for anorexia

^LadyPsy: Sometimes the specific side effect of a drug...may effect eating patterns.

^LadyPsy: People who have had an eating disorder...may need to monitor their eating habits to see it the drug is changing them. <done>

jezebele: thank you

TheKttN: GA MastrMars

MastrMars: Do you think that the D/s lifestyle, with it's intensity and openess, or at least the search for it, tends to lead to Depression when people don't find it??

^LadyPsy: Sometimes...but....it is more likely that the odds are playing...

^LadyPsy: I mean that 13-22 % of people will have depression and at least 5% of people regularly engage in S/D behaviors.

^LadyPsy: It's kgoing to be in every group...we just happen to be a close knit community and are aware of it more...

^LadyPsy: Other reasons will be talkd about in the next section <done>

TheKttN: GA ^kira

^kira: i think it is important to note again that finding a therapist who will meet your needs is imperative. It may not be th e first one you meet with...also, they need to be VERY knowledgeable about meds if they are going to be perscribing them...since as it was mentioned they do affect eating and sleeping habits to varying degrees. <done>

^LadyPsy: Good point...however, most therapists will not be prescribing meds...

^LadyPsy: they will send you for a medication evalauation with a psychiatrist (a MD doctor)

^kira: or a psychiatric nurse

^LadyPsy: Psychologist have a Ph.D. and are not allowed to prescribe.

^LadyPsy: Is is not uncommonfor people to see a therapist 1x/week and a psychiatrist 1x/month. <done>

TheKttN: GA whispAFK

whisprAFK: it should be noted that there are 4 different classes of anti depressant medication...there are the tricyclicics (sp), SRI's, others, and the MAOI's..so ...often times people must try several before you and your doc hit on the one that is right for you with the side effects that best fit your particular symptoms....and often it does take a trial of 6 weeks before one knows if the med will work ..and like most medicine these days it i

whisprAFK: and the psychiatrist..each have an important role in the treatment plan <done>

^LadyPsy: good points

^LadyPsy: Other questions?

sfvg_Sojr: (s) What we would like to discuss now...

TheKttN: go ahead MastrMars

MastrMars: I think it's important that people from the lifestyle when they do go see a doctor that it is a doctor that is "kink" aware so the doctor treats the depression and not the lifestyle especially if they can't relate to it

MastrMars: that all

^LadyPsy: If people are concerned... they can contact their local orgs...they usually have a list of "friendly" therapists...

^LadyPsy: However...if it is a concern...lifestyle issues don't need to be paart of depression therapy at all. <done>

sfvg_Sojr: (s) Is how the BDSM lifestyle can influence depression. It isn't a matter of it causing it but rather that it can make a bad situation worse.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) When you are in a relationship (not a party one-night stand) You are baring your innermost emotions to the other person (not unlike a soul).

sfvg_Sojr: (s) This is true for both Doms and subs.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) The least disapproval on the part of either party can be magnified all out of proportion.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) For example, lets say a sub is rebuked once a week for something she does wrong (not punished just rebuked). If she is prone to depression, she will begin to see herself as a failure as a sub. This may cause her to enter into a depressive state and it's downhill from there unless there is some type of intervention on somebodies part (not necessarily a doctor).

sfvg_Sojr: (s) Or a Dom who can't keep a sub or has a sub he can't control may begin to feel like a failure as a Dom and the same type of self-image problem occurs and starts the downward spiral.

sfvg_Sojr: <done>

LadyPsy: Part of any relationship...is to monitor the reactions of one's partner.

LadyPsy: If major changes occur for good or bad, it should be noted.

LadyPsy: In BDSM, sometimes we forget to comment on the positives which for someone who is depressed, is critical.

LadyPsy: FOr example,...

LadyPsy: If a dom never compliments and just critisizes,..a sub prone to depression may start becoming depressed.

LadyPsy: The lifestyle doesn't cause depression...but, any relationhip can influence it.

LadyPsy: <done>

sfvg_Sojr: (S) I hacve one thing to add..

sfvg_Sojr: (S) Just like asking a sub about her physical conditions...it is just as important to address any psychological issues, beyond just childhood trauma, etc...if either pary suffers from depression, it doesn't necessarily end the scene or re3lationship. It just becomes one more area to be aware and responsive to.

sfvg_Sojr: <done>

sfvg_Sojr: (s) You shouldn't be afraid to tell someone you suffer from depression. If they can't handle it, you don't want them anyhow.

LadyPsy: And, it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

sfvg_Sojr: <done>

TheKttN: GA sassysub

sassysub: i'd like to comment on the embarrassment issue....most ppl that i have come across don't understand that depression is not an attitude problem it is a true illness that requires attn from a professional...i myself thought at one time that ppl need to 'suck it up' and go on w/their life...until it happened to me it's something that needs to be taken care of immediately..just as if it were a 'medical' condition

sassysub: <done> :))

LadyPsy: Education is the easiest way to correct mista ken inpressions about depression. Once people are informed about..chemical reactions and depression, they tend to understand...also, theBDSM community is so accepting about so many differences, why would this one be different? <done>

LadyPsy: P.S. I want to add...like any other disorder...people need to know only when you feel they do...You don't have to carry a sign "I'm depressed"...or tell everyone at a first meeting. Only when you feel the person should know. <done>

sassysub: true :)

TheKttN: i have a question. can a sort of short term depression happen when a sub feels she has displeased her Dom? and it not be clinical at all.

LadyPsy: Sure...everyone has "feeling down" times...these are the typical "bummed out" moments of our lives...but it is not depression.

LadyPsy: I mean clinical depression....but if it lasts for more than 2 weeks, 24 hrs/day...it needs to be checked out.

LadyPsy: <done>

TheKttN: thank you:)

TheKttN: GA DCs^kitN

lDCs^kitN: forgive me if you already adressed this..but any suggestions on how to approach someone, esp if you only know them on irc?

DCs^kitN: done..

LadyPsy: yes..but check with me after the discussion :) <done>

sfvg_Sojr: (s) I don't think that's a question for here.

DCs^kitN: i mean approach someone who you might think needs help

DCs^kitN: sorry...didn't ask a good question

LadyPsy: If you have any concerns...it is ok to tell a person that you have notices a behavior change.

ldywhispr: kitN..all questions are good questions if they apply to the topic..

LadyPsy: However, there may be many reasons for changes in behavior...you cannot assume it is because of depression...but, it is ok to state the changes you see in the person. They might not know or see themselves as being different. <done>

TheKttN: GA ldywhispr

ldywhispr: i think she already answered it when i went out of turn..

ldywhispr blushes

ldywhispr: do you want me to ask again?

TheKttN: well to be honest the speakers were so clear and precise it is hard to come up with question:)

LadyPsy: Only is you still have a question...<done>

ldywhispr: no..not right now..thanks..you have covered the topic very well..

ldywhispr smiles softly

TheKttN: and we hope to continue the topic at a later date:)

TheKttN: i am sure we all want to thank LadyPsy, sfvg and Sojournr for being her tonight

sfvg_Sojr: sfvg and Sojourner> Thanks you for having us.

TheKttN: Ummm does anyone have anything else to add?

astraea^: Thank you, LadyPsy, sfvg and Sojournr!

ldywhispr is off to read the log...thanks again

LadyPsy: It's been fun...and I hope useful.

sfvg_Sojr: (s) We will be trying to put together a follow-up panel made up of...

TheKttN: very useful LadyPsy:) thank all three of you for your time

MastrMars: thank you for sharing your time , you all have been very generous

sfvg_Sojr: depression sufferers who can give some insights as to coping skills and..then open for questions.

sfvg_Sojr: Thank you all for your great questions.

LadyPsy: and participation!

astraea^: sfvg, we'll get together and schedule a follow-up soon. :)

sfvg_Sojr: And putting up with panelist newbies 8-)

sfvg_Sojr: Goodnight and sweet dreams (s)

astraea^: Good night!

TheKttN: Good Night you two

LadyPsy: Bye!


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