Monday, January 22, 2007

Depression Help For a College Student

This is the actual transcript from a recent email inquiry. I am posting it here so you can get a feel for some of the questions I get on a regular basis.

Hello Mr. Wilson:

A month ago, I was put on Paxil and Xanaxfor depression secondary to panic disorder. About 2 weeks later, I was then put on Paxil 10mg and Atavan 2mg. I have started to moderate my drug intake by taking the Paxil in the morning and half an atavan (like prescribed) and a full atavan at night. I don't take the atavan in the afternoon as prescribed because it makes me too sleepy. I'm a graduate student, and I need to stay awake during class, am I doing the right thing? I'm nervous, but when I read the synopsis of your book, I began to feel that the doctors don't know everything. I am financially unable to purchase your book (had to quit my job because of this depression) but what I've read by you on your website is phenomenal. Do you have any suggestions about what an uninsured graduate student can do? I've been feeling better now that I'm on the drugs, I don't feel suicidal or homicidal anymore, and I am going to therapy, but is my psychiatrist telling me the whole truth??

Gene-Leigh

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Dear Gene:

Sounds like you are taking the medicine the best way you can. Shifting around the dosages so that the impact of the side affects are minimized is a good compromise.

You are absolutely right to question whether or not your doctor is the best source to help you recover. If you are going to climb Mount Everest do you want to take advice from someone who has read about it in a text book or do you want to enlist the services of an experienced guide who has actually climbed the mountain?

My advice for an uninsured graduate student is to walk briskly for one hour a day, every day, and participate in a Yoga class every chance you get. In other words get your body moving. In addition a B vitamin supplement (lack of B vitamins, which are not stored by the body, can cause anxiety) and daily dosages of Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) can be helpful.

Also, keep going to therapy, but now and then ask yourself if it is working. I have found that 80% of therapists got into the business to figure out their own issues and really aren't qualified to help much. Also be aware that some of the side affects of antidepressants is depression and anxiety. So if the medicine is working for you now keep in your mind that eventually you want to try to get off the drugs because they all stop working at some time.

Eventually you need to figure out what is causing the depression - the root cause. Everyone's path to recovery is different, but there are some basics. Most importantly you must figure out what is causing the depression. What physical, emotional, mental or spiritual issue do you need to address in order to fully recover.

I will send you a free copy of the book if you promise to read it. That way you can see what I went through to recover. My case was extreme because I had issues in all four areas and it took me a long time to work through it. Most people will never have to do what I did but I wrote the book so they could see that recovery, even in such an extreme case, was possible.

Jeff Wilson

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Mr. Wilson:

I can't thank you enough for your kind words of encouragement, and for e-mailing me back! I genuinely thought that my message would be lost among the others you recieve. I am going to take everything you told me into practice----it can only help me more.

What's funny is that I wanted to just be "the way I was before" the depression. But I realize now that the situaiton has changed me as a person for the better. I'm looking forward to exploring the causes of my anxiety and depression, and healing from it.

Thank you so much again for writing back to me, I deeply appreciate it!

Gene-Leigh

P.S. I promise to not only read the book, but also to buy a hardcover copy from you later this month when I can afford it!

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Dear Gene:

There is no doubt that depression changes us and in my judgment it is always for the better. Like a fire it molds and shapes who we become in this world. Without my depression I never would have discovered how strong and courageous I am. I appreciate my depression.....now.

Unfortunately most people get depressed and wallow in it. That is why I want to live my mission and give people hope for full recovery and to rekindle their inner light. I am especially concerned about college kids and the high rate of depression they seem to be suffering. Some day I hope to do a speaking tour of college campuses so people can hear my message of hope.

Hope you enjoy the book.

Jeff Wilson

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Mr. Wilson:

I am enjoying the book very much. It's good to know that I'm not alone. I'm just happy that you have taken the time to email me, and understand what I'm going through.

I'd have to say that students should know that they are not alone in how they feel, and that the feelings they have are common, especially for students who are away from home for the first time. I think I became so afraid because I'm actually a student in Forensic Psychology---suffering from a disorder I've read about all of these years was frightening. You know what I heard once? I heard from my ER doctor that most doctoral students go through at least one episode of major depression during their program.

I think it is important for us to know that we have resources, and people willing to listen, like you. I also think it is important for us to understand that depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and that it is treatable---without drugs. It is so easy for us to fall into thinking that drugs are the best and only option. Thank you so much for all of the work you are doing, and will continue to do. I wish you luck in all of your endeavors, and keep in touch!

I start school next week (and I'm studying for my finals from LAST semester) so free time is a luxury, but I'll get the book done soon. I'll keep you updated on my progress, and please, if I can help you the way you have helped me, don't hesitate to let me know!

Gene-Leigh

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1 Comments:

At October 28, 2009 10:48 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Depression is not just simple sadness that all people feel sometimes. Depression is a serious emotional problem that makes you feel devoid of physical and emotional energy, it combines with a persisting sense of hopelessness and often self-hatred. I want to share a self help program which help in treating depression .

 

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