question about a possible cause of depression | INFJ Forum

question about a possible cause of depression

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Eric86, Jan 21, 2009.

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  1. Eric86

    Eric86 Community Member

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    I came across this on a different forum I'm on, and I thought I might be able to get additional insight on it here. I've heard many similar things to it before as well.
    Seeing this reminded me of something....

    My mom told me something rather...disturbing a few months ago. She said that while she was pregnant with me, she was having a lot of very powerful thoughts that I was going to be the child of Satan, and she was extremely depressed...she was deathly afraid...and not only having strong suicidal thoughts, but having thoughts of killing me right after I was born as well.:(

    As far as I can remember, I've been depressed my whole life, though for most of it, I pretty much completely repressed it, to the point where I felt very little emotion at all (I'd laugh once in a great while, but that's it.). Only during the past...four years or so, have I actually been able to really experience emotions, so really, it's all quite new to me...which makes all the good stuff, very good, but consequently, all the bad stuff (which there is a lot of) is even worse. Once I started being able to feel emotions, I slowly began to realize just how strong my depression was, and the more progress I made with being able to feel emotions in general, the worse I would get when I was feeling down. I've been getting better at dealing with it, so that it doesn't affect my personal life and the things I need to do as much, though I'm still very much all over the place; when I'm happy, I'm incredibly happy, but...well, you get the point. Even when I am happy, I can still feel it there, in the back of my mind, waiting for a chance to come out again.

    I have many of the symptoms of major depressive disorder, and I've talked to a therapist as well, and she said I very likely have it, as well as anxiety problems. I've never been able to control it....the bad episodes (like where I feel like I'm practically dead) happen at completely random intervals (even when my overall situation in life at the time would not give me any reason to be depressed; it could happen once a month, or a couple times in a month, or several months apart, who knows...), and I never know how long it will last (at the very least one day, usually a few to several days; absolutely nothing that I do makes it go away, and thinking positive [which I'm very good at since I'm naturally quite optimistic] never helps either, only the passing of time gets rid of it). I sometimes have a lot of trouble with sleeping as well; I either can't get to sleep until really late, or I'll wake up a ton of times while I'm sleeping (even though normally I'm a very deep sleeper), or I'll sleep for some ridiculous amount of time (anywhere from 12 to nearly 18 hours; one time when I was in college, I slept for almost 40 hours and woke up only a few times very briefly. I was extremely depressed toward the latter half of the year I spent there.).

    Do you think that what my mom was going through while she was pregnant with me caused it, or at least affected it somehow? I mean, at the time, it must've been very serious, cause when she told me about it, she was totally in tears.
     
  2. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    • According to the biological perspective they would say that it is genetically predisosed and that you may have a seratonin imbalance.
    • The psychodynamic would say it has to do with past childhood experience/trauma.
    • The cognitive perspective would say it is due to your thought pattern and defence mechanism
    • The learning/behavioral perspective would say you learnt it from your environment.
    However when it comes to your mother simply passing it on to you by e.g. blood would be highly unlikely. Firstly, when you are pregnant hormons flush constantly affecting the mental set enormously. And also her being depressed and those thoughts on carrying the devils child etc could represent what is called 'pregnancy depression' which affects loads of women. Delusions are also common.
    Ofc it must have been suprisingly devistating for her to know that she even had those thoughts.

    When it comes to to your feelings I can fully relate and you describe it so well!! I also find myself either ultrahappy or in the midst of anguish.
    However, I guaranee you that you haven't been depressed all your life. I assure you that if you would think of an event and merely go back and observe it with the perspective you have today - then you would realise that it is the attitude that has changed.

    I hope you get better :) and don't focus to much about the diagnonsense (we love tagging ourselves don't we :)) because ultimately it is not of use at all.
     
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  3. alcyone

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    There is also some evidence that it could be related to your long term eating habits.
     
  4. Wyote

    Wyote Dad of the Ded
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    I would say that your findings are entirely plausible. I do not however, have any factual knowledge to back up such claims.
     
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  5. dylan

    dylan Bearded Dancing King

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    This I understand and sympathize with completely. I think I posted something very similar in Shaz's "Melancholy" thread.

    It sucks, huh? Not being able to shake that feeling that things are going to get bad again, never really being able to get fully comfortable in happiness. It's like going to an awesome party when you know you can only stay for 45 minutes. You still enjoy it, but your happiness is tempered by the knowledge that your enjoyment is not open ended...

    Just remember that the Buddah said "life is sadness." Is. KnowwhatImean?


    Actually, and it breaks my heart to say this, but yes, I do think it affected it somehow. I'm reluctant to say "caused," but affected, I think quite possible.

    The reason I say this is because of some experiences I have had with kundalini meditation. For those of you unfamiliar, kundalini meditation is a type of meditation that focuses on the 7 major chakras, and the process of moving energy around between the chakras and secondary energy points.

    Because of my experiences, I am completely convinced of the existence of the "energy body" that surrounds and permeates our physical bodies. Furthermore, my intuition tells me that this energy is, in a weird way, the "physical" manifestation of our emotions. Or maybe more accurately, it's the bridge between the emotional realm and the physical realm. I believe this is where INFJs get some of their "psychic" powers. Not the precognitive dream stuff, but the feeling what other people are feeling stuff. I believe we are more sensitive to this energy, so when we walk into a room, we can pick up on the emotionally based energetic transmissions of others, and thus know who's angry, who's sad, etc.

    I think in truth, everybody receives this informaton. It's like radio transmissions. Even if your radio isn't turned on, there are radio waves passing through your house (and through your body) all the time. Most people don't have their emotional/energetic "radios" turned on, so they only receive/perceive that kind of energy on an unconscious level. INFJs, on the other hand, are so much more sensitive to it that it's like we have our radios turned on, and we can perceive that kind of energy consciously.

    So in that context, there is no question in my mind that you picked up on the emotional energy your mother was putting out. Arguably, as a fetus, you may not have been able to perceive it consciously, but I still think you felt it, and it affected you and your subsequent development. And considering the close emotional bond between mother and child, you may have felt it quite acutely, and thus it affected you to a greater degree. I can't even imagine what a fetus or newborn infant would feel if it perceived that it was somehow unwanted by it's mother. Even though she came around in the end (thank god for that, right?), and even though you don't remember it consciously, it still must have been an incredibly traumatic experience to go through.

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. :hug:
     
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  6. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    That's a really good question... I lean toward the theory of 'learned from environment,' but only because from the way you started this post, I wondered about your upbringing. But then the fact that you mentioned that it hits you out of nowhere and the only thing that makes it go away is time seems like a seratonin imbalance. You talked to a therapist though, where did your therapist say it originated from or did they not say?

    When I was younger I was prone to the 'depressive hijacking,' and I used to wake up everyday miserable (for me, it felt like a crushing morbid dread and everything seemed empty) until it would just 'just decide to' go away. I took meds which didn't work for me. Do you journal at all? I found that journaling really helped me a lot. I'd fill up notebooks with recording events and rambling thoughts and feelings. In the process, I seemed to get in touch with some deep issues that I was able to bring to the surface and resolve and that helped tremendously. I'm glad to hear that you still see yourself as an optimistic person and that you've learned how not to not let it affect your relationships as much. But am sorry that you still suffer from it.
     
  7. alcyone

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    Dylan~ That meditation souds like fun...where can I learn about it?
     
  8. dylan

    dylan Bearded Dancing King

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    Well, I just did a slew of googling, and there's all kinds of stuff out there...

    Here's my teachers' website: www.bodymindfullness.com

    Here's a page that has a nice description of kundalini.

    There's a type of yoga that focuses on kundalini, but in that practice you go into yoga poses, and we definitely were not in yoga poses while doing the meditation, we were sitting in chairs, with our eyes closed. The meditation described here is pretty close to what we were doing, but it seems more simple and direct. It talks about moving energy up your spine from the root chakra to the crown chakra, but what we were doing involved circulating energy along specific routes from the chakras to other points on the body.

    Unfortunately I couldn't find anything that exactly fits what I did, but I'm sure it's out there, somewhere.
     
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  9. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    Dylan, that is brilliant. I've read stuff that was essentially the same as what you wrote. But it was spiritual-type writings. Channeled information, I think.

    Eric, I can relate to only recently being aware of and feeling emotion, and repressing how I was feeling prior to that. Even these days, it's very easy for me to slip into "I don't feel anything" mode and feel numb instead. I don't always realize when that happens. It takes a while for me to clue in. And sometimes my emotions are all over the place. Hang in there.. I hope the good periods are much more steady and long-lasting.

     
  10. OP
    Eric86

    Eric86 Community Member

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    My therapist didn't say anything about where it originated from. She just eventually recommended me to a psychiatrist for testing, which I have yet to follow through on. (this was several months ago...I kept procrastinating it because she said it would take 2-3 months time between when I call to set up an appointment and when it would actually be)

    This has, unfortunately, been affecting my job a lot, as many times (especially the past several weeks) I end up not waking up to my alarms (I set two or three rather loud ones.), and I don't wake up until my shift is over, or well after that. I think am getting pretty close to losing my job now....it happened again today.

    I don't journal because I have nothing to really write about. I've tried it before, and could never think of anything. I would just stare at the paper without a single thing coming to mind. This happens to me any time I try to write something, though, and it's been that way for my whole life. I just get an impassable mental block where my mind goes completely blank. The feeling I get when that happens....really scares me. It's why I gave up doing writing assignments in English class back when I was in school; I didn't want to waste all day getting nowhere.

    I have a hard time even thinking of anything to post about on any of the multiple forums I'm on as well, and with thinking of things to say to people in person or on the phone (there have been very, very few exceptions to this), so idk...maybe it's part of a bigger problem or something. My aunt, who's been an RN for quite some time (over 20 years) said I might have some form of autism. I also have a lot of memory problems, both long and short-term, though there are some things that I can remember very well. I have highly vivid, very long dreams, which can be extremely disturbing sometimes. There have also been a few times at work where I randomly almost passed out for no reason at all, though this was several months ago, and hasn't happened any more since then.

    I just don't really know where to start to figure out what's wrong with me.
     
    #10 Eric86, Jan 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  11. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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  12. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    Sounds like you have experienced two distinct issues -- (1) lack of emotion (aka anhedonia), which may be biologically caused, but also psychological; and (2) an inability to express your emotions, which is probably more psychological than biological. like merrytrees it might be related to upbringing and external environment (of which your experiences in the womb are definitely a part of).

    i dunno why i thought that distinction was important, but maybe they might have different sources, or maybe they are related.

    i wonder why your mom brought that up? seems like a unique thing to tell your child.
     
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  13. admorri

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    Depression is one of those disorders which most people face in there life as some stage for one reason or the other. If it's children the pressure of studies gets over their head and if it's adults the pressure of work attracts depression. Rather than going on drugs, one should look for the reason behind there problem . Keeping your self busy and changing the schedule also helps sometimes to get over stress and depression.

    The best way to get over stress, depression and anxiety is to take a break from your regular schedule, go out, and take good sleep. This helps in clearing the mind and try consulting a specialist who can suggest you as how you can get over your problem. There are various prescription drugs to get over anxiety and depression, but these should only be used in accordance with the instruction of a physician and going on anti depressants should be the last option.
     
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  14. Amaranth44

    Amaranth44 Newbie

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    Alcyone-A diagnosis isn't all nonsense. Depression can be a serious condition and getting treatment is important, although it is true that it can be difficult to find the right way of treating it, since everyone is different.
    Eric86, I really sympathize with your situation. While it is unlikely that your mother passed these feelings through her bloodstream, depression can be a hereditary condition. There is no one particular cause for it though, there are various factors that can play into it, and it also depends on each individual. I hope that you are able to work through it and receive the help that you need! I know how awful it can be.

    On another note, depression isn't truly something that most people go through necessarily. While it is a very common condition, suffering from depression is different than merely feeling gloomy or downtrodden. Everyone experiences some form of sadness in their life, especially when going through difficult situations. However it's different from suffering from something like clinical depression.
     
    #14 Amaranth44, Sep 6, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  15. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    My mom said that she felt great when she was pregnant with me and that she always wanted to be pregnant :) However, I am pretty depressed so I don't think that's it.
     
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