strange triggers for depressive states

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strange triggers for depressive states

Postby pyronius » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Second topic. I therefore won't have anything else to discuss with total strangers ever again. I don't believe this has been covered elsewhere.

Firstly, this isn't a topic about how terrible my life is, fret not, i'm in a good mood. this is a topic about weird things that can trigger depressive states (depression). I just want to know if anyone has similar experiences. I believe i may be some sort of undiagnosable bipolar (the swings are too rapid for a normal diagnosis from what i've read) more than depressed which may have something to do with it, but nevertheless i have a hard time accepting the fact that happy moments and good things have recently been triggering some really dark and depressed moods.

lets not get into too many specifics as i have friends that may or may not read this and i'm rather good at hiding the extent of my ups and downs. After years of objectively failing at life and about a year of the worst series of events i've yet to be forced to deal with, a few things finally began going my way. While it's nowhere near perfect there's less of a wall standing between me and a future than there ever has been and so long as i keep up the effort i should be (not to jinx it) set for life. However as i started to realize this and began to let go of all the bad shit, my mood somehow only got worse and worse over the course of a few weeks. it got to the point that i was near suicidal. mind you i'm a coward and a bit of a logical thinker so suicide isn't actually a possible danger, more just a feeling.

After a week or so of this horror i began to draw myself out of it and, while i found it a bit disconcerting, didn't really mentally connect "good" with depressed. To help clear my mind and pass time when bored I began working on some simple art in a style I'd come up with after being inspired by a particular lyric. It turned out well. While i'm no great artist it was unique and interesting as well as a bit "pretty".

as with my other topic this morning, this is where things get weird. both a friend and an old acquaintance whom i respect as a person and an artist complimented it. While i'm generally pretty modest about my talents this time it triggered something weird. i gave my usual "no, its just doodles for entertainment" response but she insisted it was good a few times. there were some other parts to the conversation, but specifics you know. overall the response was really positive and somehow i absolutely couldn't handle it. I honestly can't explain what happened but within ten minutes it threw me into a really depressed mood which lasted another week. there was no reason for it and it made no sense, but somehow being told i'd done something good once again caused a gigantic mood swing toward the negative. During said swing i did no more doodles, skipped classes i had good grades in, refused to get sleep when possible, and devoted my time to nothing useful whatsoever.

My best guess upon some self reflection is that when i notice the positive it sort of "shines a light" on the negatives that remain if you catch my drift. Portions of my life are still god awful in ways children in Uganda would hate me for complaining about and i guess i prefer to just ignore both sides of the coin because I can't see one without the other.

hmm, hope that wasn't terribly whiny. it really wasn't meant to be, I just think its an interesting idea psychologically that good things can trigger bad moods in an otherwise well adjusted individual. I sort of like to observe the world in an impersonal manner and as a strange occurrence i find this portion of myself fascinating. brain fuckery if you will.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby sockpoppet » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:56 pm UTC

Maybe this should go in Dear SB instead of general?

And yes, depression triggers can be weird. I'll just say some web [sub]forums can do it for me sometimes.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby dhokarena56 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:54 pm UTC

Power outages. Oh, man, do they ever make me clingy romance-depressed.
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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby Brace » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:44 am UTC

Music. Pretty much any music.


A mirror.

The smell of the air in summer.

The conclusion of anything happy.
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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:03 am UTC

No identifiable triggers. May occur anytime I am not fully focused on something.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby felltir » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:20 am UTC

So many things. None actually depressing.
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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby UniqueScreenname » Thu May 03, 2012 9:34 pm UTC

I have those sort of triggers too. Compliments tend to make me sad because other people are seeing things in me that I can't.
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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby altair4 » Fri May 04, 2012 12:58 pm UTC

you are not the only one,
I tend to avoid all strong emotion as being happy just makes me think how much worse it will be when I do crash back down.
I realise this is not a healthy way to live.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby negatron » Sat May 05, 2012 12:11 pm UTC

The smell of the air in summer.

Damn, that's intense. Me too. We are so broken :(
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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby cemper93 » Sun May 06, 2012 12:06 am UTC

I have the same problem with compliments, but I learned to play them off and lead the conversation elsewhere.

There is also certain music that triggers depressive states for me. Oddly enough, most of these songs should make me happy, because the memories that cling to them are good ones. But the opposite happens. The same is true for various objects that I associate with good times, but that still depress me intensely.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby Kitutal » Sun May 06, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

Only thing I've found so far is just about anything that reminds me of my many and varied regrets, for example, a friend of mine, we're both members of the same club, and he was saying how lucky it was he found this club at a young age, was accepted there and met so many nice people, and I'm thinking I wish I had joined as a child, rather than only finding it at 23, a whole long list more things I never did growing up, friends I never made, places I never went to, stuff I didn't do before society decided I'm a little too old for it now. It's all in the past, nothing I can do to change it, but that one line, the happiest in a close friend's life, made me feel terrible for a couple of days. Also romance books, I guess, I switch randomly back and forth between really enjoying reading them, some of the best things I've read were cheap tacky romances, and feeling so sad that I have nothing like that, or that such people don't really exist.
Yea, my life is kind of messed up, but I just keep trying, now I know what I want and what I've been doing wrong and some of how to achieve it.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby PerchloricAcid » Sat May 26, 2012 12:18 am UTC

Looking at pictures of people and reading stories about them, thinking they are very interesting and then realizing they are dead. I'm talking, say, musicians or scientist.
The feeling of regret that overwhelms me in these situations, despite the fact that I'd most probably never meet them even if they were alive, is kind of... depressing :?

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby MinotaurWarrior » Sat May 26, 2012 9:13 am UTC

Ever since kindergarten, when I realized that teachers focused more on complimenting you after you made a mistake (ie. they'd only compliment you're ability to spell a word if you'd previously failed to spell it correctly), I've hated compliments. Telling me I'm doing well makes me feel like a failure, complimenting my appearance makes me feel ugly, saying I'm smart makes me feel like a moron.

When people try to get into my inane interests (videogames, sci fi, fantasy) to get closer to me, it makes feel a deep, undirected pity. I don't feel sorry for the person, or for me, I just sort of recognize that something about the whole situation is pathetic.

Seeing those sort of genuinely happy, eternally enthusiastic, intense people try to cheer up someone who's deeply depressed. Watching normal (read: occasionally happy, occasionally sad) people be supportive of depressed people is fine, as is watching superhappy people be there for normal people, but the interaction between the superhappy and the depressed is just depressing. I feel as bad for the superhappy person as I do for the depressed person in these situations. There's just such a huge gap between them.

I used to feel this profound horror about a lot of things, like Quantum Immortality, alternative views of time where the past and future are as real as the "present", the impossibility of preserving human life for eternity, the moral ambiguity of things like the hedonistic imperative (where it's either something we absolutely must do, or something we absolutely must not do), the radical-ness of radical empiricism, et cetera. I'd spend whole months feeling like my ribcage was about to split open so my heart could rush out and escape the horror, but now? I've become completely apathetic; I've lost the horror, and that makes me sad. That horror was unpleasant, but it was also the most profound sort of experience I've ever had.

Then there are about a thousand little things that might remind me of the way I was at some earlier point and make me feel like crap about it.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby VeganPirate » Sat May 26, 2012 12:20 pm UTC

In the 5 or so years i've had depression, I have only once had a depressive episode triggered by something.

It was when I first started uni, only to discover it was much easier than i was expecting, and they still treated you like school kids. That really let me down, i was expecting a challenge etc.

But apart from that, it's usually quite random. I ascribe to the notion that it's a biological thing. I find that i tend to get depressed first, and then find everything depressing. The depression causes the shitty interpretation of life, not shitty life causing depression - that might just be me though.

Although, i guess here it would be important to distinguish between depression, depressive episodes and other mental health issues, and feeling depressed, having the blues etc.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby PerchloricAcid » Sat May 26, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

The depression causes the shitty interpretation of life, not shitty life causing depression - that might just be me though.

Actually, I'd say that the shitty interpretation of life causes depressive states.
Not depression itself, perhaps, I think that's almost purely a biology thing. Not sure about this one, though.

Btw, ontopic:
I tend to get into the blues when I get reminded of stuff from childhood. Stuff like music that used to be popular then, toys that were popular, books, places, clothes, hobbies, whatever, etc.
I get nostalgic and bluesy at the same time. :?
It's that thought: It's gone. It will never, ever happen again.
Whether it was a good or bad thing doesn't usually matter too much. :?

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby Ipsum » Sun May 27, 2012 3:14 am UTC

Romance stories.
Ending a conversation with close friends.
Thinking about mistakes I've made.
Stories about loving, supportive families.

Basically, everything that reminds me that I don't really have normal interactions with people.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby Ptolom » Sun May 27, 2012 8:10 pm UTC

Strangers saying "hello" to me in the street. For some reason it just reminds me how alienated I am.

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Re: strange triggers for depressive states

Postby LYates73 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:11 am UTC

Curling my eyelashes and backing down my driveway.

Also silence.

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