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Thi Phan

Can depression be contagious?

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I'm 31 years old. I've been friends with a chronically depressed person for 15 years. I remember being more motivated and energetic before meeting him. Now I'm just depressed and lethargic. Nothing motivates me any more, not money, not sex, nothing. I have a couple other friends who back-stabbed me, but I'm not even interested in getting back at them. I wonder if this friend could have given me this chronic depression and what I should do to be more ambitious. Your ideas are greatly appreciated.

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In a short answer yes depression can be contagious

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I do't know if I would say that depression is contagious, but, I can see the depresed state of mind being picked up by others who are constantly around depressed people.

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I don't subscribe to the medical diagnosis that depression is caused by chemical imbalances. I feel that depression = sadness, and there is always a reason, be it deep and underlying or not. Something is unbalancing those chemicals to make you sad. And yeah, I know sadness is contagious.

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yes it can be, but you have to wonder why you guys get along so well in the first place, you probably already have common personality traits. I do believe that you can break out of depression but you can't break anybody else out of depression. After gaining ground or getting better you may be able to offer advise, show proof or give examples of what worked for you but ultimately it is up to the individual to overcome their depression by whatever means. Usually to break out of a pattern you have to separate from those still engaging in it..

It may be some work but it will be so worth it! Good luck!

lol @ no motivation for revenge

put some motivation into some positive things, that's what is going to help

:) :)

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advise on becoming more ambitious:

-set small attainable goals and take the step or steps to achieve them, this gives a sense of accomplishment

-positive affirmations, it may seem corny but it works and you should not be ashamed to work on and take care of what you need to succeed

-exercise and have a healthy diet - crucial

-take care to make yourself look good, looking good on the outside helps you feel good on the inside, peoples attitudes toward you will help as well

-create a balanced life, time for fun, time for work, get out of the house, don't sleep too much, don't spend too much time on tv, internet, games, etc.

-meditate

-read

-don't beat yourself up

-pick yourself up and try again if you feel your slipping back into depression or have a down time

-know that you have overcome this temporary thing in the future and walk toward that future self of yours - this is called 'claiming the victory'

-smile

-evaluate and proclaim your worth

-be nice to others

-see the worth in others, how you see others is often a direct reflection of how you see yourself - this means don't talk crap about others, or think badly about them, identify their strengths, not their weaknesses, we ALL have weaknesses or areas that we want to develop/overcome

-treat everyday as a new day

-live in and enjoy the moment

-keep in your mind all of the good things about life and focus on these things, not the not so good things

-forgive yourself

-know that you deserve to be healthy and happy, know that you ARE healthy and happy, it really is a state of mind!

I have a question for you... What are you really good at? Is there something you have always been attracted to even as a child? Is this still a part of your life? If not, you need to re-engage in this activity and make it a part of what you do, a career? A hobby? We are driven to do a certain thing and we usually know what that thing is but have somehow become convinced that we can't or shouldn't be doing it.... yes, you should be doing it! It is what you were born to do and will make you the most successful. Start practicing that thing now, it will bring you joy and passion! It could lead to financial success yes, but finance is not the goal. Being your true self is the goal. Your true self is awesome and full of riches of every kind.

I have a scripture for you, you don't even have to be religious to appreciate it! Just a little word of wisdom:

Phillipians 4:8 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (And stay in this frame of mind!)

:) :) :)

Again, good luck! I know you can do it! You just have to know it too! :)

Edited by SpiritWriter
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SpiritWriter: I feel grateful to your insights and suggestions. Will do as suggested. Feeling hopeful already. Thank you.

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SpiritWriter: I feel grateful to your insights and suggestions. Will do as suggested. Feeling hopeful already. Thank you.

:)

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I don't subscribe to the medical diagnosis that depression is caused by chemical imbalances. I feel that depression = sadness, and there is always a reason, be it deep and underlying or not. Something is unbalancing those chemicals to make you sad. And yeah, I know sadness is contagious.

Clinical depression does not equal sadness and sometimes there is no reason other than brain chemistry. This type is not contagious
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Clinical depression does not equal sadness and sometimes there is no reason other than brain chemistry. This type is not contagious

Ah, clinical depression, I think that's what my friend has. He's a highly intelligent successful guy who, unlike me, should not have anything to be sad about.

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Ah, clinical depression, I think that's what my friend has. He's a highly intelligent successful guy who, unlike me, should not have anything to be sad about.

I've been through it a few times. They have some pretty good meds for treating it nowdays

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Clinical depression does not equal sadness and sometimes there is no reason other than brain chemistry. This type is not contagious

I've already said I don't subscribe to that stance, unless you can give supporting evidence that states brain chemistry originates the depression, as opposed to various causes for that brain chemistry to change. To reiterate, chemical imbalances don't happen on their own for no reason. Something always causes it, be it introduction to heavy drug use, a traumatic event, long running negative psychological training, etc. But don't state brain chemistry as a reason, as it is a result, not a cause. A person calling me an idiot will cause my brain will react in changing its chemicals to make me feel bad. But while those chemical changes caused my sadness, it wasn't the reason for my problem. That person calling me an idiot was. To think if no one realized this and I kept getting prescribed a pill to correct the brain chemistry, while the same person kept coming along and calling me an idiot every day.

There's a reason psychotherapy/counseling is a joint effort in any good anti-depressant medication regimen. I was prescribed anti-depressants for a long time which ever so mildly depleted my sadness (which is what all of the depressive effects ultimately equate to, whether you want to accept that or not), but while they kept my chemical balances at an even low level (which also has an effect of not letting you as easily experience high happiness/pleasure levels), I never felt much better. Learning myself and why I was so sad deep down is what saved me. It's always better to first try to figure out and understand your psychological problem before trying magic pills to make them go away.

You might want to read this entire page (http://en.wikipedia....essive_disorder) a few times to understand some points about major depressive orders (aka clinical depression). Some of these being trauma in life as a common major contributing factor, how cognitive behavioral/interpersonal therapy is an extremely important treatment as well as possible prevention, and how much work is still being done to understand the illness.

It is far too easy to say physical chemical imbalance; take these pills. But there is a lot more going on in there. Therapy will always trump pills for psychological cases, in my experience, as an individual well versed in being messed up psychologically in my life. Try to figure out the problem, which is causing the multiple symptoms of deep rooted sadness. Feel free to take medication while you do this, but do not rely on pills alone for this type of thing. It's not an answer, but a temporary fix to a long term problem, which is really just tricking the brain.

This tricking of the brain is why anti-depressants are the most potent and popular treatment choice, not because it helps pinpoint and treat the underlying problems. Know this.

Keep in mind I have stayed away from mentioning the word Pfizer in my post. It wasn't easy.

This obviously is a topic that hits close to home, and I am passionate about. I feel SpiritWriter's guidelines are an awesome road map to finding, and actually treating the problem of depression, as well as bettering anyone's life, depression or not.

Edited by _Only
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I'm no doctor. All I have is my own experience with crushing depression that had no other cause but brain chemistry. Medication to balance my brain chemistry cleared it right up. This is not the same as sadness or even depression brought on by other factors which certainly also exists. Your belief is not required for the truth of my statement

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  • Diet overhaul, look at what your eating and eliminate anything that is processed or junk that you are eating on a daily basis. No one says you can't eat stodge, just make sure it is not every single day.
  • Get on a liquid vit B complex - pills/capsules are not absorbed properly and peed out. So getting liquid is important.
  • Join a gym / class / swimming pool and get a daily workout exercise regime going. Something cardio and something weight resistance. Force yourself no matter what to go out and do that for at least 30 mins - 1 hour a day. If you can't join a place then go out walking/running. But a gym/pool is better for motivation because once you get there and are around like minded people/energy you really will feel your motivation kick in. It's a good way to be exposed to people who are already highly motivated to balance out what you need.
  • The rest will fall into place after you have these basics taken care of. Allow yourself to have down days as well, once you begin working out your down days will feel like they have more purpose, ie resting muscles/energy rather than just doing nothing with no aim.

Edited by bLu3 de 3n3rgy
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sadness and depression most times.. comes from a certain way of thinking and caring about what others think.

For example someone can say.. i feel sad.. because I am not what my parents.. or church.. or society wants me to be.

To HELL with what they want! I will be all that I CAN be... MY WAY.

Next of all people get sad because they think they are lacking something... .so they concentrate..

on oh i don't have a lover.. or a nice car.. LIFE SUCKS! Oh man.. now i can't enjoy myself.. unless I have these missing things..

Trust me I used to think all these ways.. and I used to be very depressed...now I am happy and high on life.

I have accomplished many goals..

and by the ******* power of magic... you better believe no one will stand in the way of my goals!

it's all about getting angry... get inspired.. and self empowered... then

well you become a powerful entity indeed!

And no i am not drunk.. i just feel very good these days!!!!!!!!!!!1

Wooooooooooooo I am castor troy!

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I personally (from experience) think it is possible. A buddy of mine and my fiance had issues with it and it kind of rubbed off on me lately.

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Actually, the medical establishment does not know what causes depression. Chemical imbalance (to which I subscribe) is one theory. As one who has suffered from debilitating depression for most of my life, I think mild to moderate depression may be caused by sadness, but clinical (major) depression is a different animal altogether. At any rate, all the establishment can do is diagnose and treat the symptoms with various therapies, including talk therapy and the use of antidepressants. If you want more information, WebMD is all over this http://www.webmd.com/depression/default.htm. Is depression contagious? I don't know, but I see no reason why certain behaviors in one person can't influence the behaviors of another. But if you want to be a true friend, please urge your friend to get help. In some cases (maybe most?) depression can be cured. If not, it can at least be managed.

As for you, I think Spirit's advice is a good start, especially diet and exercise. Depression puts stress on the body, so you also might want to try various relaxation techniques, such as massage therapy or music therapy--whatever works for you.

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I'm no doctor. All I have is my own experience with crushing depression that had no other cause but brain chemistry.

I have too. I don't think there necessarily has to be some psychological reason (grief or sadness over some unresolved issue) for depression. Of course, for many there is, but it's not always the case. I had severe mood swings and horrible depression that lasted for many years. One week, I'd be happy and content and then it was like a switch would go off and out of the blue, I'd suddently be unable to get out of bed. I even had suicidal idealations and I couldn't understand why I felt so awful. Eventually, I figured this was the result of a hormonal issue (pmdd which is like pms but a thousand times worse) I also had an intolerance to wheat, gluten and dairy. I believe that was contributing to my depresssion. Once all that was taken care of and I drastically changed my diet, I felt so much better.

All of the organs in the human body can malfunction in a number of way. It should not be unbelievable that the brain (the most complex organ of all) can also.

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I have too. I don't think there necessarily has to be some psychological reason (grief or sadness over some unresolved issue) for depression. Of course, for many there is, but it's not always the case. I had severe mood swings and horrible depression that lasted for many years. One week, I'd be happy and content and then it was like a switch would go off and out of the blue, I'd suddently be unable to get out of bed. I even had suicidal idealations and I couldn't understand why I felt so awful. Eventually, I figured this was the result of a hormonal issue (pmdd which is like pms but a thousand times worse) I also had an intolerance to wheat, gluten and dairy. I believe that was contributing to my depresssion. Once all that was taken care of and I drastically changed my diet, I felt so much better.

All of the organs in the human body can malfunction in a number of way. It should not be unbelievable that the brain (the most complex organ of all) can also.

Totally agree. I had similar experiences in the past. I haven't been troubled with it in several years. No doubt being careful to maintain proper diet and exercise and trying to regulate my sleep patterns(chronic insomnia) has a lot to do with that but without help from meds at some critical times I don't know if I would have survived

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I do't know if I would say that depression is contagious, but, I can see the depresed state of mind being picked up by others who are constantly around depressed people.

You just basically described what contagious means LOL :tu:

If your constantly around someone that is depressed its going to rub off on you in someway.

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My feeling is that depression isn't really contagious. But if you are around someone a great deal who's depressed, it's very easy to lose your sense of perspective.

Now I'll throw something else out there. There has been a lot of talk in the medical community about certain diseases being caused by viruses. There are certain cancers caused by viruses and there is some speculation that schizophrenia and depression may also be caused by a virus. Just something to tuck away in your Might Need It Someday file.

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