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Archive 2013 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery
  
 
UsseryG
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Hey guys!

It has been a very long time sense I posted here, on FM. A lot has happened in the last year, and I have the urge to share.

About 11 months ago, I went through a change. This was not a change for the better. I suddenly lost motivation, even to do my homework. I no longer wanted to go out and do things, and my eating habits changed in extremes, going days barely eating, and other days I would just pig out, and eat whatever I could find. I even lost interest in playing video games. I was later diagnosed with clinical depression. And this hit me hard.

I chose recovery without medication through dieting, and forming healthier habits. This took a long time. My depression got worse. I started noticing that my sleeping habits were changing. I developed severe insomnia, and was getting between 1- to 2 hours of sleep a night, sometimes three days with only a couple hours of sleep. This made things worth.

My depression was running my life. I wanted to give up on so many things, photography included. I had lost all of my passion for what was once my favorite hobby, and potential career. I started to wonder if a change would rekindle my passion. Perhaps new gear, or maybe even a new format. I considered selling all of my Nikon gear and switching to the Nex system. My kit is modest, but covers everything I need. I was close to listing everything, but something didn't feel right.

Then I started thinking something; It doesn't cost me anything to keep it.

I am so grateful that I didn't sell my gear. I am SO glad.

I have been depression free for the past 2 months. I have regained my fiery passion for photography. I am out every day taking pictures. I have made a new years resolution to finish a 365 picture a day project. I am HAPPY! I even shelled out the cash, money I saved up without selling gear, to buy a D600, from the Buy Sell board here, of course.

I know that it has only been 2 months, and relapses happen often. But I think that if I stay adamant with my passions, and keep eating healthier while being more active, I will be just fine.

I am excited to get back into the FM community.



Jan 17, 2013 at 10:56 PM
jmcfadden
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Gary,

Good to have you back here sir

I gotta tell you as someone who has a Long family history of mental illness and also went thru many long bouts and fights with depression that you need to get thru the Shame you have felt about it. There is no reason not to take medication to help thru periods of depression, not sleeping is a terrible stress on your body and perpetuates the very depression that seemed to bring it on. It is a catch 22. I could care less about what gear is in your kit, get some treatment and work with your doctor till you have a year or 2 without chronic depression.

J



Jan 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM
hijazist
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Glad to hear you're back to photography, but more importantly you got rid of the depression! Depression can be very tricky since we usually don't take it's symptoms seriously, but it's really serious... Great job sir!!

Welcome back!



Jan 17, 2013 at 11:08 PM
DontShoot
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Welcome back! I do remember you
Congrats on the D600 and good luck on your recovery



Jan 17, 2013 at 11:09 PM
BenV
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


congrats and welcome back start going to the gym, tire yourself out so you can sleep


Jan 17, 2013 at 11:25 PM
UsseryG
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Thanks guys!

I have been sleeping tremendously well! My grades are also great (passed my last classes with all As and Bs).

I am also going to a gym now, which I think is part of what helped my recovery. Just getting out and doing something.

Also, J, I chose to avoid medication because I don't react very well with it. Instead of being depressed, I become fairly zombie like.



Jan 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM
fsiagian
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Gary, welcome back. And congratulations on your D600


Jan 17, 2013 at 11:34 PM
BoneCounter
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Another show of solidarity here. Your troubles echo those of so many people. For me, crushing depression, insomnia, self-medication, and suspension from university. I saw the creation of an individual who I thought had no future. That was 8.5 years ago now.

Today, the future couldn't be brighter. The process* is facilitated by a handful of actions and serious cognitive shifts, things that you are presently doing very, very right: 1) Talking about it. Communication, be it with friends and family, even an online community, is absolutely critical. 2) Exercising! I know of no better natural anti-depressant. 3) Pursuing your passion.

You're right that relapses often happen, but they can be overcome in the same manner that got you to today. You're also right that you'll be just fine.

Congratulations on everything and welcome back to the world.

*I want to stress and clarify my use of the word "process" here. I have found it useful to think of being happy, or not depressed, as a continual process of becoming those things. Trying to achieve a final product, a reified self who is finally happy, did not positively affect my disposition. Everyday, continue becoming who you want to be.



Jan 18, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Joseph Garcin
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


I am so happy to hear you are doing well.

I just want to add to the sentiment that you shouldn't swear off medication. It takes sometimes up to a year or even more of trail and error to get the medication and dosage right, but to put it in the words of a close friend of mine, when you get the balance right, there is no more struggle, and it is like "the world has be laughing at a big joke, and now I finally get it."

That being said, your approach is perfectly fine, and whether or not you ever want or need medication, the behavior modification you have been working on will go a long way to helping you for the rest of your life. The only reason I bring up medication, is because I have personal experience with people who have taken both routes, and in my experience, the outcome has almost always be better for those who find a skilled psychiatrist to continually search for the proper balance of therapy and medication.

Happy life and happy shooting to you!




Jan 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


I was suicidal, and put in the double-locked psych ward. You know you're in trouble when the mirrors are made of plastic and a nice young man will come over and cut your meat for you.

Stay active. It's the best therapy.



Jan 18, 2013 at 12:32 AM
 

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bikemore
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


UsseryG wrote:
I am also going to a gym now, which I think is part of what helped my recovery.


Strenous exercise.




Jan 18, 2013 at 01:23 AM
dennishh
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Glad you're back Gary. I had a bout with depression while I was going the photo school, so overwhelming I don't like to think about it. That was lots of years ago but I think photography and the joys of exploring it has saved me from another one. Feel free to ask questions and if you forget anything there's plenty of great people here to help you.


Jan 18, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Two23
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


In the past I worked as a therapist in a psych hospital. I agree that a good exercise program can be a big help. So does keeping regular hours. Good luck with your project and your year!


Kent in SD



Jan 18, 2013 at 02:29 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Not much to say, just wishing you a big hug.


Jan 18, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Good job Gary,

Depression hurts and you are the only one that make a change in your life..!!!

I had the same problems years ago and it is photography what keeps me busy and "depression free".

Marcelo



Jan 18, 2013 at 04:16 PM
mrkon
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Great to hear about your come back. Respect!


Jan 18, 2013 at 06:07 PM
leighton w
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Gary, what a great story, thanks for sharing!

One of my favorite photographers went through something a little similar. He wrote in his book that he had broken his back and because he couldn't do anything became VERY depressed. One day he decided to break out his micro lens after seeing some nice frost on the window, and from that point on became excited with life again. He credited that single shot of bringing him out of his depression.



Jan 18, 2013 at 06:17 PM
UsseryG
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


Seriously, thanks, everyone!

For the first time in a long time, I am excited about photography. Leighton, I like your story. I can understand the weight that that first shot has with your favorite photographer.

I think that keeping busy will help keep me sunny. It sucks that its winter in North Dakota, which limits the activities, but I will find things to do!

Thanks for the hug .

Joseph, I do think that medication is essential for some people, but it is just something that doesn't work for me. I know that there is trial and error, but I feel that I am on the right path.

I really appreciate the support that everyone is offering. Glad to be back.



Jan 18, 2013 at 08:21 PM
leighton w
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


UsseryG wrote:
Seriously, thanks, everyone!

For the first time in a long time, I am excited about photography. Leighton, I like your story. I can understand the weight that that first shot has with your favorite photographer.

I think that keeping busy will help keep me sunny. It sucks that its winter in North Dakota, which limits the activities, but I will find things to do!

Thanks for the hug .

Joseph, I do think that medication is essential for some people, but it is just something that doesn't work for me. I know that there is trial and error, but I feel that I am
...Show more

Gary, if you really want to have some fun, get yourself a used Nikon MF off of ebay or on the buy and sell forum and join us in the MFNG thread!



Jan 18, 2013 at 09:35 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery


leighton w wrote:
Gary, if you really want to have some fun, get yourself a used Nikon MF off of ebay or on the buy and sell forum and join us in the MFNG thread!

+1 What Leighton said!



Jan 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM
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