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Nancy Schimelpfening

Depression Blog


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Summer SAD

Wednesday May 21, 2014

While we usually think of SAD as occurring during the winter months, this forum member has a different perspective:

Does anyone here have spring/summer SAD? I was dx'd with this about 3-4 years ago and it really sucks. I know it's kinda rare and people usually have it in the winter, but I get it in the summer. It's not fair that most people get to go out and enjoy the sunshine and nice weather and do all kinds of outdoor activities, while I feel more depressed on nice sunny days. What's worse is that we don't have a very long season here in WI of nice, warm days that are enjoyable. I do go out with people on nice days and do things if they ask, but it's mostly fake acting happy and having fun. I do try to force myself to go out and walk for exercise instead of sitting home and getting more and more depressed. The anti-depressants I'm on don't help and my psych knows I have this disorder, so he doesn't really try to help. There's not much more he can do. I tend to like the rainy days, where I can just sit and watch the rain, or stormy days where I just listen to the thunder and watch for lightning. Those are the days I feel better and will sometimes even go out for walks in the rain. Life just isn't fair. --Janey38

Can you relate to Janey38's dilemma?  Share your experiences in the comments.

Mental Health Hospitalization

Thursday May 15, 2014

The idea of hospitalization can be quite frightening for those suffering from depression and other symptoms of mental illness. Can you be locked up against your will? What happens when you are there? What are you rights if you check in voluntarily? Knowing the answers to questions like these, however, can help allay your fears. You can learn more about hospitalization and your rights as a patient here:

Jaw Clenching With Zoloft

Monday May 5, 2014

ChrisJones1 writes:  "I stumbled onto this website and wow.  At least i know now why I'm having these symptoms.  The one thing I didn't see, however, was jaw clenching.  I'm on 50mg of Zoloft per day and I seem to be having trouble with my jaw, either clenching or just having to move it because it's sore.  Is there anyone else having this issue?"

Do you have any experiences to share with ChrisJones1?  What side effects did you experience with Zoloft?  Have you experienced jaw clenching as a side effect with other antidepressants?  What helped you cope with this side effect?

Related Article:

Weight Loss and Zoloft

Monday May 5, 2014

From our forum:

Just found your forums and it seems like a good place for info. I was just wondering if anyone has had a great deal of weight loss on Zoloft?

I've lost at least 15 lbs since May, but I'm only 5'2 so it's very apparent. I also have no sex drive, and I have regular memory lapses, like when you're forgetting why you went upstairs or walked into a room.

Are these side effects temporary or will I have them the whole time I'm on Zoloft. My doc knows about all this, but she upped the meds to 100mg a day as well as ordered a round of blood tests to rule out anything else.

Any info/experiences would be appreciated.

-- Ellaina

Has Zoloft caused you to lose weight?  Leave your comment below.

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National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Friday May 2, 2014

Childhood depression is a topic very close to my heart, and, given that National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is coming up on May 8th this year, I thought I would speak a bit about my experiences.

My first episode of depression that I can remember occurred when I was about seven. I can remember waking up day after day thinking, "I hope today is a good day." It never was a "good day", however.

The depression and anxiety followed me until I was thirty-years-old and decided to see a psychiatrist about how I was feeling. The first time I visited him, I was filled with dread. I wanted to believe that I could feel better, but I knew deep inside that I was just weak and lazy and the doctor was going to tell me that there was nothing medically wrong. Instead, he told me that I had clinical depression and that there was hope for me to get better. Learning that my depression was biologically-based and not a character flaw changed my life completely.

Today, as I look back on my childhood I regret that none of the adults in my life recognized that I was depressed. In fact, there was still quite a bit of stigma surrounding mental disorders back then. I believe that things could have been much different for me if only people were more knowledgeable about depression and I had gotten help with it early on. Luckily, we are much more open and educated about depression today and our children do not have to suffer with depression or carry the burden well into adulthood before getting help. Please, help educate yourself and others so no child has to endure years of depression and self-doubt like I did.

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Does Chocolate Cause Depression?

Thursday May 1, 2014

This is an older forum thread, but I thought some good points where brought out: "Any time I eat chocolate. I am depressed for a few days. It could be an allergy to food. But any kind of chocolate and I am blue and down and out for days. Any one else notice this? It is like I think Why am I so depressed? And then I think back to I ate chocolate."

Do you feel that chocolate is in some way related to your depression?  Share your experiences below.

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Free Depression Screening

Thursday May 1, 2014

Do you believe that the symptoms you are experiencing could be caused by depression?  Our online depression screening tool is quick, easy and completely confidential.

Poll: Do You Experience Sexual Side Effects Due to Your Antidepressant?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Published reports about how common sexual side-effects are vary quite a bit, probably because many patients are shy about such a personal topic. How common are they really? Voting in our poll does not reveal your identity to anyone. Please join us in creating an honest assessment of just how common sexual side-effects are. Any type of sexual difficulty that you developed as a direct result of taking an antidepressant that can't be accounted for otherwise by other drugs, illness or the depression itself would count. Symptoms that you might have experienced would include low libido, difficulty with orgasm, erectile dysfunction, decreased vaginal lubrication or ejaculatory difficulties.

POLL: Do You Experience Sexual Side-Effects Due to Your Antidepressant?

(1) Yes
(2) No
(3) Not Sure

View Results

Related Article:

You Are What You Think?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

In an article entitled "You Are What You Think" I wrote about a form of psychotherapy called cognitive therapy. The premise of cognitive therapy is that our thoughts are quite powerful and if we habitually think in a negative way our mood will follow our thoughts causing feelings of depression. Defeating depression thus becomes a matter of recognizing these faulty thoughts and replacing them with more truthful, positive thoughts.

If our thoughts are powerful enough to influence how we feel, it stands to reason that how good or bad our reality is is simply a function of how we wish to perceive it; and, not surprisingly, some of our greatest, most respected thinkers have stated this same concept in their own words:

"I saw all things that I feared, and which feared me, had nothing good or bad in them save insofar as the mind was affected by them."
--Benedict de Spinoza

"People and things do not upset us, rather we upset ourselves by believing that they can upset us."
--Albert Ellis

"We become what we think about all day long."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
--William Shakespeare

"People are about as happy as they make up their mind to be."
--Abraham Lincoln

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
--Norman Vincent Peale

"As you think, so shall you be."
--Jesus Christ

What do you think? Is it possible to think ourselves into feeling depressed? Do our thoughts really create our reality? Or are all these men wrong?

Zoloft and Nightsweats

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Jessica1307 posted the following question to our forum:

I have been on Zoloft 50 mg for 3 years and it has been a miracle drug -really cut down on obsessive thoughts and chronic unhappiness.

My major side effect is frequent, severe night sweats. I get them several nights a week. I know this is a common side effect for some people. I'm wondering if anyone has a good solution besides going off the Zoloft.

BTW, I am healthy, not overweight, don't drink caffeine, don't drink alcohol before bed and my bedding is not excessive.

Thank you for any help - even commiseration - you offer.

Do you have an advice to give Jessica1307?  Share your experiences below.

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