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I recently fell into the deepest depression I have ever felt.
Mostly following the list of symptoms of depression to a tee.
I stopped having a desire to do anything, even things I had previously enjoyed.
I stopped eating, stopped sleeping.
I stopped talking to my peers, kept my head down at work.
I felt so empty, like there was nothing to look forward to anymore, and I was stuck in some sort of limbo.
I got rushes of nausea, and felt as if inside me there was some big black empty pit.

My teachers at school began to notice a change in my behavior, my parents were contacted, I was told how, "I have so much potential." and "I hate seeing you like this." and "I'm always here to help, or to talk too."

So I knew this whole depression thing was setting in. Could feel it everyday when I woke up. Every night when I couldn't fall asleep.

I wished I could have changed something, I wished there was a REASON that I was depressed. There was nothing, there was a situation, that was the catalyst in triggering the depression, but at this point, there is no specific problem to fix.

Now I am on antidepressants. A low dose, that I have to take everyday and effects will take a few weeks to being working, and I take sleeping medication for my insomnia. Which both, have thus far proven to have no effects at all.

I've been desperately trying to take this one day at a time. To not think too far into the future. To enjoy something while it is happening, but it's difficult.

Every single time, someone asks to hang out, I just want to say no. I don't want to see anyone, and people think I'm bailing, cancelling all the time, but I just want to be alone, until I get better.

I've talked to therapists, and psychologists before. Never helped.
Now my first psychiatrist.

Struggles with depression, coping, results?
 

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Change what ever it is that is causing the largest problem.


What do you think that is?
 

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Get angry.

I went through a 9 month long period of depression when I was 20. I had quit my job, so I had very little to do from day to day. All my friends were in transitional phases, so I didn't spend a lot of time with them. I basically just sat around on my PC engrossing myself in stories.

I had seen a psychologist, but that was actually before the whole of the depression period, and I don't retain much of those sessions. It was a waste of time and resources for me. My parents were largely unhelpful. My mother was working all day, and my father basically just told me over and over what I should be doing, and when I asked him for help with something specific (like enrolling in school), he'd just spend time pointing out the fault in my ideas. One day, I just got fed up with his crap and out-shouted him for the first time in my life.

I stomped out and my mother lobbied for a part-time job at her work. I pretty much just focused on that for a while and started to do things my own way instead of going along with whichever baby cried the most out of not wanting to get a headache. I'm not sure how much of my fairly rapid recovery had to do with having something to occupy my time, a new outlook, or some combination of the two.

I realize it's not as simple as it sounds to just conjure anger. I certainly wasn't trying to reach that end. But it might help to examine where you think your breaking point would be. What is going to have to happen for you to want to change yourself? Work toward that for now.
 

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Do you have a really close friend with similar interests?
You said there is nothing to fix, maybe that is the problem.
I asked you about a friend, because I think you need a project to work on without getting too caught up in your own world or end up in with an Ni-Fi loop(been there, and it wasn't fun).
So think about something you are interested in/enjoy, think about a project related to that subject, chose a friend you think might be interested as well, and get started. I had only one friend when I was depressed(that friend lived far away), and I didn't like to talk about it(my family noticed I was depressed after 4 years, even then they didn't do anything about it and I think it was better that way). If I could find a friend to work with on a project it wouldn't have been that difficult. However even I managed to get out of that hole, so don't worry you will make it somehow.
 

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Struggles with depression, coping, results?
Far more experience than I wish. Never having experienced depression of any kind (or even really grasped it), at the age of 17 I fell into a depression like nothing I've experienced since. I wanted to die. Nothing mattered. I couldn't sleep. I didn't eat (or overate). I wrote journal entries every day cataloging how worthless I was and the events of the day (all negative). I hated everyone. I hated myself. I hated my life.

This hell hole lasted for 2 years. Then I spent another 3 years in a moderate depression, where everything was gray...nothing was funny...nothing was interesting...I slept 11-12 hours every night and felt no rest. I resolutely accepted that my life was over and I just needed to go through the motions for my family's sake. I became a shell of a creature.

I'm not comfortable going into the rest but sufficed to say I got out of that and back to some semblance of normalcy.

Also, like you, although severely depressed, I could only point to circumstances...specific severe events that preceded and (in my opinion) seemed to cause the depression. It's only been recently, going to a therapist for the first time, that I've begun to grasp the emotions that caused the depression. Events can make a person depressed, but there's usually more to it. For one example, a person can feel severely low self-esteem related to perceived rejection from a parent (and not even know it) and then be completely derailed by one negative comment from the right person in authority who meant no offense. Or a person can experience extreme guilt from something (or a series of somethings) and then make a small benign mistake and feel like a total failure...with everyone telling you that it's no big deal but you don't believe them.

Some suggestions:

1. Find a therapist who does EMDR...it is shockingly effective. You start out with a negative target memory and through guidance from the therapist, you end up finding out that the target memory isn't the issue at all. There are all these feelings (in my case related to my parents) that were eating me alive, without me knowing, and they were behind the pain of the memory...not the memory itself. Of course, if you've been abused in any serious way, it's probably both the target memory and related emotions.

2. Seroquel 12.5mg for sleep is amazing. It's an anti-psychotic in the 100s of mgs, but at 12.5mg, it's just an antihistamine with no significant psychiatric effects. It's like taking 4 Benadryl that last for about 9 hours or so. I take a half a 25mg one hour before my target bedtime and I'm usually able to get to sleep. I also take a 25mg Benadryl with it to really push me out (it wears off after 4-5 hours).

3. As far as ADs go, Prozac is best because it has an extremely long half-life (or rather its metabolites), so if you have to discontinue it, there's almost a discontinuation protocol built-in. Discontinuing Paxil is hell and discontinuing other ADs is not easy, and by that I mean you have to taper to minimize a discontinuation syndrome. It can be done, it's just less convenient than Prozac. Depending on the type of depression, Lamictal can also be extremely helpful.

4. Try writing out your feelings...sit down and just start typing things, "I feel like xxxxx because xxxxxx". It's not as effective as EMDR, but it can be helpful in figuring out your emotions. Keep a daily journal but only allow yourself to write a few paragraphs (some hard limit), so you can express your hidden feelings privately and reflect on them.
 
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I slept 11-12 hours every night and felt no rest
Actually if you sleep over 8 hours each additional hour increases the body's reaction to sleep as a sign of "sickness". This reduces your energy levels and makes you more apathetic because it is how your biology keeps you from over-exceeding your sick capabilities. Where as 6-8 hours is ideal amount of sleep from which you wake up as your most rested and energetic.
Sleeping too long can even cause depression which then becomes a cycle of fatigue and depression leading to more sleep which in turn feeds the fatigue and depression. First and foremost thing is to make sure you get 6-8 hours sleep, choose one, don't vary between 6 or 8, keep sleeping hours the same and try to wake up around the same time every day. And first thing you do is to eat something every day. Anything fiber or fat intensive will do to signal your body it is time to wake up and you are soon charged up to more activities.

This helps to combat biochemical depression as well as environmental depression. Also it is important to identify if your depression is caused by your biology or by your life situation. Most often biological cause for depression makes mundane things in life seem depressing, so it is easy to think life is shit even when it isn't. But once you have environmental / situational depression then you have a clear indicator that you truly suffer from that, one cause can be unemployment, and another physical abuse or long sustained verbal abuse.

Introverts are more easily affected by long sustained verbal abuse because they do not generally need so much validation, so they do not come to seek differing opinions and begin to believe the shit they get.
Extroverts are more resilient to verbal abuse but physical abuse is their weak spot as it drives them from groups and people through the pavlov's dog effect, turning social interaction into something painful and to be avoided. Limiting their abilities to express themselves, and feeding the depression as their energy levels drop due isolation and being forced to become introverts to limit triggering the abuse.
 

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My teachers at school began to notice a change in my behavior, my parents were contacted, I was told how, "I have so much potential." and "I hate seeing you like this." and "I'm always here to help, or to talk too."
"I have so much potential" is a line I've heard enough that it really does rather sicken me to hear it. On the one hand, if I do have so much of this stuff have I wasted my life to still have this much left? Do I just have a great ability to put up an illusion of appearing to have potential? Do the people saying this really mean it or is it just an attempt to perk me up? Really an annoying line there that I thought I'd share my dislike of that line.

On the topic of general depression, I'd suggest trying a bunch of things to see if there is anything that gets some joy going. It may be something you hated before or it could be something you loved. Unfortunately such experiments can be annoying in how often one has to go through a checklist to find something that works. I've had more than a few episodes of depression and I doubt they will end anytime soon.

The isolation piece of not wanting to see anyone I can also relate as I had my moments where I just wanted to shut out the world and sometimes did. Having a friend that I could lean on and confide did help quite a bit but it isn't always easy to find such people in the world. Good luck on getting through it.
 

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There are a few things that you can try:

Fish oil, omega 3, it will raise levels of serotonin and not interact with antidepressants.

There isn't anything wrong with not wanting to constantly interact with other people. I think that an INTJ will become a little edgy and depressed if constantly around people. Try giving yourself time rather than the other way around.

Make a plan to do something small and productive through the day (for yourself), keep it realistic and within reach so you can feel a little achievement each day. If you are feeling shitty and not being productive you wind up hating yourself for being a blob.

Allow yourself plenty of sleep time. You get the best energy from around 7 1/2 hours sleep.

Make sure you have at least one healthy meal a day. Eating well is paramount to mental health. When your blood sugar levels are down you might be prone to having teary events. Hypoglycaemia never looks good on a stoic. Force yourself to snack small amounts until you get back into eating. To stop eating indicates there could be a other issues, control, grief etc....find out what and work from there.....

Exercise. Half an hour each day will do the trick to burn off cortisol.

Been there when I was in my teens....these few steps kept in check seem to have helped ever since.
 

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There are a few things that you can try:

Exercise. Half an hour each day will do the trick to burn off cortisol.
Also hard physical exercise helps in multitude of ways. I do a lot of weight lifting, hard cardiovascular training with both running and upper body practices like boxing and Kendo. On top of that stretching and agility training to keep all parts of brains active, not only those that utilize mind-space and logic.
Pressing your body to its limits at least once a week is effective way to increase your overall levels of metabolism which keeps your body clean of hormonal buildups and glands clean from toxins. The reward chemical dopamine will be released soon just by thinking of the exercise and you then have a trigger to push you out of any mental pit you may fall.

Plus the intoxicating sensation of competence and strength you get from pushing your body will give you a nice boost to your overall sense of security and trust into self. You learn to know your limits better and will have good self-confidence as a result. You know what you are capable of and this enables you to take action.

Also, when I feel apathetic I have mentally conditioned myself to get defiant in the face of it, I do push-ups or something else and just tackle some housework / work / hard to grasp reading material like physics and force all feelings of apathy aside with brute force. It all begins with a simple decision to hit the floor and do 50 push-ups to get the heart pumping, from that point on I can just keep going since I am already on the "go". The barrier to surpass your emotional state is reduces each time you go against it. This leads to increased stability in the long run as you learn that your feelings truly have no relation to reality of the situation.
 

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I walk barefoot everyday for at least 22 minutes (grass, sand, or a natural surface is ideal). Sometimes I even just run barefoot at the track (research about it first before you do it since you need a specific form to run efficiently). Getting at least 30 minutes to an hour of sunlight is very important. Even if you sit outside and read on your porch in the sunlight, it will help elevate your mood.

I was in depression for quite a few months this year after being very ill. It's not fun, it's actually really scary, but you're lucky that you have people willing to help you. Besides working out and doing activities you enjoy, I also suggest creating little goals for yourself. Make a realistic list of things for you to do everyday (even cleaning or chores work) to keep you motivated. Maybe you've always wanted to write poetry or try to write a book or perhaps learn about quantum theory.... any little goal helps.
 

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I am a rapid-cycling manic depressive, So I have a pretty steady supply of random bouts of severe depression with no obvious environmental cause. Having a defective and sensitive brain chemistry balance in my case is another matter, but getting it back on track may not be.

Keep in mind that everything in the body is connected extensively. Eat healthy, regiment sleep patterns, exercise, get outside, do something new everyday, set some realistic short term goals, and tend to philosophical beliefs. If all of these things were properly tended to, I doubt you would be depressed.

Focus on all those things, be objective in observing issues you may be having in given portions of the list, and keep in mind that it isn't always instant for brain chemistry to correct itself. The body has amazing self-healing qualities as long as you provide all of the tools. And hang in there, this world needs all the INTJs it can get.
 
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I am also in a state of depression following at least a few years of world-weary, unjustified (especially for my age and circumstance) dysthymia. The most disconcerting part of this entire ordeal, which itself in depression form has been persisting for over a year, is the utter lack of competence, drive, focus, will, intent, et al. This aside from the self-loathing, self-hatred, self-___, hypersomnia, lack of appetite, lack of general self-care and self-tending, thought distraction, etc. I digress. I've attempted the goal-per-diem approach, therapy, outright venting, and most everything excepting promiscuous sex, drugs, antidepressants, and suicide. Not a thing has worked for me yet, and it's agonizing. I've abstracted by problems, conflicts, and such to four discretes, and I can fix or confront not one of them, even if the issue of my will were not in question. Paralysis has been my term, as has inertia.
 

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I have periods of "depression" too. I never got diagnosed by a specialist (hence the brackets), but I fit all the traits. The reason is never something that happened to ME or a change in MY life. Thinking about the meaninglessness of existence or watching the news often triggers it.

You might think I'm trolling or something when I say this but I'm not. Smoking some weed once in a while really helps me to appreciate the simple things in life and stop thinking about all the misery in the world for once.
 

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The day I think...ahh, might kick back and game a little and hang on the netz the council decides is the day where they begin ripping up the asphalt out the front. I'm in the front room.
 

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Going outside or taking a hike helps me out tremendously.

What helped me the most when I was depressed younger was a dramatic shift of environment. I had to adjust and change my behavior... and eventually my depression disappeared or ceased to matter.
 

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How long have you been using the anti-depressants? Mine took a while to kick in, and the first meds I took never worked for me, so I had to have them switched to something else.

To cope with depression I often meditate on everything I went through that day. It honestly helps more than it sounds. I also try to keep my mind off of things that make me depressed by discussing interests and such with close friends or playing a video game.
 

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Don't smoke weed or drink. It will make it worse. Basically, just talk to someone about it. I remember while I was at high school, I went to a counselor and she said "How does it make you feel?" I just went "Feelings aside, x happened, y might be the cause and z is the outcome I want."
 

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Existential depression when I was maybe 16. Sleep patterns fluxuated to sleeping early and waking up in the wee hours around 3-4AM. While walking home every day for several months, I entertained the thought of jumping in front of the next car to see if there was something (objective meaning) beyond this reality. What got me out of it was that perhaps objective meaning could be found but I would remain a skeptic until evidence found.

Flash forward to present. I still deny objective meaning but now have since accepted that shades of order can lend credence to each other (a sort of fuzzy relative meaning). This sort of moved me away from the solipsistic attitude that I once harbored once the existence of objective meaning no longer mattered.
 

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Wow... how educational. :)
 
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