Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 05/19/08 03:24 AM
Eat, Pray, Love is a HUGELY popular book right now - and it is all about how a travel writer deals with serious depression. She is suicidal, on medication, talking with a therapist. It takes her a solid year to work through her issues and begin to emerge from it.

I posted a long review of this book in this forum -

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Posted By: Ms.D Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 05/19/08 03:27 AM
I have not read the book, but I do know that depression is not solely based on your day going bad, or having a bad week. It is at times a medical condition that affect many ppl, and at times these ppl have no idea why they feel this way.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 05/19/08 03:32 AM
Right exactly, Ms. D. Some of the reviewers on Amazon were saying in essence "Hey my life is worse than yours, and *I* am not depressed, so you should not be. Buck up and stop being depressed!" They say it as if people choose to be depressed and can just miraculously choose to be happy and therefore be happy.

I am really tempted to post a comment like that on their anti-depression review - and maybe I should. It is dangerous for people who feel that "depression is fixed by a smile" not to at least be alerted to the fact that depression is a medical issue. If they manage to talk a depressed friend out of taking their medication, for example, the results could be catastrophic.
Posted By: "Rosie" Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 05/19/08 09:54 AM
And your so right,
The causes of depression aren't fully understood. A number of factors may make a person more likely to experience depression, such as family tendency, side effects of certain medications, an introverted personality,and emotionally upsetting event, particularly those involving a loss.
Depression may also arise or worsen without any apparent or significant life stress.
Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression, though the reasons aren't entirely clear. Psychologic studies show that women tend to respond to adversity by withdrawing into themselves and blaming themselves. In contrast men tend to deny adversity and throw themselves into activities. Of biologic factors, hormones are the ones involved. Changes in hormone levels, which can create mood changes shortly before menstruation and after childbirth might play a role in women.Similar hormonal changes may occur with the use of oral contraceptives in women who have experienced depression.
Abnormal thyroid function, which is faily common in women, may also be a factor
Depression that follows a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one, is called Situational depression
Depression without an apparent precipitation event is called Endogenous depression. Depression may also occur with or be caused by a number of physical diseases or disorders.
Various prescription drugs, most notably drugs used to treat high blood pressure, can cause depression For unknown reasons, corticosteroids often cause depression when they are produced in large amounts as part of a disease, as in Cushing.s syndrome, but tend to cause elation when they are given as medication
A number of psychiatric conditions can predispose a person to depression, including certain anxiety disorders,Alcoholism, and other substance abuse disorders, schizophrenia, and the early phase of dementia.
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 05/30/08 05:30 PM
Okay, I ordered this book from my library. smile
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/05/08 01:14 AM
Let us know when you get it, Jilly, I'm interested in hearing your take on it!
I work in a large library and interest in that book has been massive. I have, however, heard many people call her a 'flake' and said the book was just too self absorbed. Personally, I bought the book just to re-read the bits where she was on the bathroom floor crying, because frankly, I admire her total honesty and having struggled with anxiety myself, I can appreciate the stages she went through. She's incredibly brave to put this on paper, NOT self-indulgent. Also heard her interviewed on the radio and she is very well spoken and just as funny as you'd think.
It's a great read!
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/07/08 01:12 AM
On one hand, I can see people not saying "I would make every single decision she did". But on the other hand, it's a personal memoir!! It's her real life. We all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we didn't. She is trying to help others by sharing what she did. Is she a flake for being honest? Should she have lied about how awful she felt? I just don't get that. Is she a flake for not "bucking up" and just getting over the depression on her own with a magic wand?

I wonder - if you asked people WHY they felt she was a flake, what do you think they would say? Because she divorced her husband rather than stay in a relationship that was having her contemplate suicide?
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/07/08 04:11 AM
Okay, I got the book in. I can't wait to start reading it tonite. It looks well written to my quick browse.

Dan says it pisses him off that people would find someone doing something great with their lives, like travel, as selfish or flaky. We totally don't get that. Should someone sit at a desk and live only half a life, or less, b/c other people might disapprove?
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/11/08 06:38 PM
As someone who has a clinical depression problem, I have to say I totally am there about the bathroom floor scenes.

For me, I used to retreat into my closet. It was safe in the closet. Nothing bad ever happened in there. Safe, quiet, dark and neutral.

I have also been known to cry in a heap on the shower floor, during a shower.

There were also a few times when i would get up in the middle of the night and stare at the front door from the inside, longing for...something....
Posted By: Angel216 Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/16/08 01:12 AM
I have seen your avatar/picture before on other posts (miscarriages) and remember thinking wow that woman looks so happy and free. I was surprised to see that you mentioned struggling with depression. I guess when we see other people, we have no idea what they are going through internally. Keep smiling!
Originally Posted By: Lisa Low Carb Ed
Right exactly, Ms. D. Some of the reviewers on Amazon were saying in essence "Hey my life is worse than yours, and *I* am not depressed, so you should not be. Buck up and stop being depressed!" They say it as if people choose to be depressed and can just miraculously choose to be happy and therefore be happy.

I am really tempted to post a comment like that on their anti-depression review - and maybe I should. It is dangerous for people who feel that "depression is fixed by a smile" not to at least be alerted to the fact that depression is a medical issue. If they manage to talk a depressed friend out of taking their medication, for example, the results could be catastrophic.

Even after being in the hospital for my depression, some of my family members still don't believe in it as a disease. It's all just a state of mind, and they think I should get off all these scary medications that I don't really need and are goin to fry my liver one day.

And you must undestand one of the biggest proponents of this mindset is my chainsm0king gtandmother who has had 4 bypass surgeries, a stroke, and lost her brother to suicide by hanging himself. But, no, depression isn't real.
Posted By: TrishInNC Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/16/08 10:52 AM
Right now, I'm frantically worried that walking in to the Mental Health ward at the hospital and asking for help is going to cost me my job.

I have a TS clearance, and just did a periodic review. The investigator made a BIG deal about taking Zoloft, because we can't have anyone with mental health issues looking at sensitive info, y'know.

What was really happening was that my natural anxiety/low self-esteem was being horribly exacerbated by a serious substance abuse problem. IMO, the alcoholism (which never got me in trouble of any sort) was much more dangerous to "national security" than leveling out my brain chemistry with 10mg/day of Zoloft.

I'm dry and clean now for over six months, and have finally managed to convince the docs that I don't need to be on *any* drugs. I still get low points, but dammed if I will ever go back to Mental Health; my job is too high a price to pay.

edited for clarity
Depression is not the same thing as psychosis!

That is like telling someone with high blood pressure not to go get medicine because having high BP is a physical risk due to the PT regimen - so then they have a heart attack. When if they had been on meds for the BP, it would have helped.

Same thing as for depression. Getting help for it in the early stages is a good thing, before somebody gets so far down they are contemplating suicide.

Of course the military has never been known for its logical decisions. (Ex husband was in the army, I've seen some of those decisions firdst hand)
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/17/08 06:27 PM
They should really re-name Depression b/c it's a misnomer. It's not about the blues or being sad about something. Arg. I have had to educate all my friends and family about this. hearing "just get over it," gets me steamed in a way nothing else will. It's like, if i had a broken leg, people wouldn't say to me, "just walk on it."

Arg. Arg. Arg.

Angel that was very kind of you to say. In nature I always feel happy. In my avatar i am backpacking in the grand canyon. My original form of self-medicating. smile
Posted By: Roni Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/17/08 06:56 PM
I'm a firm believer in "better living thru chemistry". I have been on Wellbutrin since 9-15-01 and due to family issues and perimenopause I have started taking generic ativan(an anti-anxiety med)with GREAT success...

The number of DRUNK and/or STONED people I have known who advise others about prescribed medications are legion. If "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, Thinking happy thoughts, Whistling a happy tune or Getting over it" works so well what is all the imbibing and smoking about? The only thing worse than that are people who tell you to "face your fears head on" or "You'll get passed them with time"...well, I do not have that much time.

I do not know one single breathing soul who deserves to stand looking into that black pit of despair(I sincerely hope you do NOT know the one I mean)thinking their only choice is to jump... Get the help you need and then do NOT share your choice with the doubters; just tell them,
"I am feeling better, thank you."
It IS YOUR Life NOT their's nor is it their choice...
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/18/08 04:49 AM
Trish - that is so sad that you have to choose between your health and your job. You would think they would *want* you as stable / calm as possible, whatever it took. It really makes no sense for them to say "Oh look she's handling the situation - this is bad".
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/18/08 04:51 AM
Jilly - I think you're exactly right, and that Michelle really points out why. Too many think about depression and think about when they were sort of sad. I think if we called it something else more clinical (like a xxxxx chemical imbalance) that they'd realize it was an actual physical problem that can be fixed and can't just be ignored.
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/23/08 06:01 PM
Even anxiety disorders get more respect!

We should all just come up with a name for it - something that sounds serious enough for people to not dismiss us.

Something like Serotonin Disorder. I don't know.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/23/08 06:17 PM
Is it always about serotonin? Or are there other types?
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/23/08 06:20 PM
I really don't know.
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/23/08 06:24 PM
Maybe Extreme Dysthemia.
There are other types as well. That's why serotonin re-uptake inhibitors work for some, but not all. Tricyclic antidepressants treat some other forms. And Prozac is neither, a class all by itself. So that's why what works for one person ,ay not work for another and treatment can be trial and error.
Posted By: Lisa_Angelettie Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 06/27/08 12:20 AM
Hi everyone.

First - I want to say that the backlash to this book is probably due to a couple of factors including that she has received a lot of exposure for this book (such as an Oprah appearance). And people don't know what could possibly be wrong with you if you have made it on Oprah! There's some envy there too. And secondly, because there is still a lot of confusion out there about depression as you all have stated in this thread.

You can have a bout of clinical depression brought on by a stressor such as a death in the family etc. Which people either fall deep into, they self-medicate, or they seek treatment. For those that seek treatment or find a solution on their own - they usually recover. And that's that. People in the family will talk about it "remember when Lisa was depressed"...

But then you can suffer from long-term mild to moderate depression all your life. And people often mistake this as "Oh lisa is a negative person. Oh, she is a downer. Oh, Lisa is very introverted and keeps to herself. Oh, Lisa is a drunk or a drug addict. Etc."

The confusion occurs that for most people "depression" means the first scenario. Something bad happens. Someone gets down about it and doesn't have the "strength" to get themselves out of it. So they are depressed. And that's why you get a lot of the "just get over it" or "my life is much worse".

On top of that -- the media has been a big part of making this worse. How many times has Oprah (whom I love by the way:) featured someone's remarkable life story and insinuated that we have absolutely nothing to whine or be down about. That message has made a lot of truly clinically depressed people feel guilty about their depression and NOT seek treatment, and it has made a lot of uninformed people just cheer even louder that people who claim to be depressed need to "just get over it". When really they are simply ignorant or uninformed about the fact that depression is a mental disorder that manifests itself psychologically and physically -- and does not just go away. Like most medical conditions - it must be treated - with either talk therapy, medication, and/or a combination of other holistic solutions such as exercise, herbs, hobbies, pets, etc.

The solution -- education.
The book -- it was a good read.
Posted By: liz ras Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 07/10/08 01:57 AM
Hi,I started reading it and then had to return it back. I REALLY loved her brutal honesty and that fact that no women are perfect!!I was on depression med and have been off it since Feb,---too expensive and not by my choice either!!! Now, All you people just made me relize I need to go get a copy of that book and re-read it all over again. I still have some very dark days, mostly -PMS related.
liz ras
Posted By: Digitoko Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 07/14/08 05:17 AM
Hi Lisa,

I have'nt read that book yet but I think helthy nutrients food can help to reduce depression. beside that People's daily routine is also the reason behind depression. if a person take healty nutrients diet he or she can reduce his or her depression problem.

I will definately read this book.
Posted By: Doni Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 11/12/08 07:14 PM
I am new to this site. I am depressed and I experience alot of the "well, just cheer up", stuff from the few people that do still email or call me. I never have visitors but I've come to accept that I am alone in this journey and I'm actually DEPRESSED,and not just crazy.
I am going to get this book you're referring to. I've not read it or ever heard of it.
When I do venture out of my apartment I will go to the library. I still have to shop for myself(grocery) so I do go out every now and then. I pretty much just watch TV, do computer stuff, read and chain smoke. I have insomnia too, so I go outside at night to experience just being out of my apartment. I like to walk among the trees and stuff. Yes, I am weird, I guess.
I like your site and I will be back.
Posted By: "Rosie" Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 11/12/08 07:54 PM
inod10, welcome to the forum, I also suffer from depression, some time i find it so frustrating when people say i should do this or i should do that . I know they mean well. But people suffer from different levels of depression. Every one gets depressed now and then. I am bipolar and my depression can last any where from 3 to 6 months at a time!
At times i fell like I've been depressed for ever.
I wish i could get out of my house, i wish i do do "normal" things.
I am on medication and have been on many different ones since 1974.
I can relate to many of the things you are saying.
Are you in counseling, its important to have some one to talk to.
I wish you muck luck in getting help for your depression. Coming here and sharing your problem is a start. every one here is nice and no one judges anyone.
Posted By: Doni Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 12/03/08 05:06 PM
Hi Rosie,
Thanks for the reply. I don't get counseling but I have made an attempt to get it. I had an appointment on Monday that I've had for 6 months but I was unable to get my self up and out to get to it. I have been in a bad way for awhile. I had a little upset that put me in bed. I always have trouble during the holidays but I had an aunt come from California that I had talked to on the phone for months about her visit, how much fun it would be and I was really looking forward to it. However, she only stayed with me three of the ten days she planned to. The day after she got here she wanted to go shopping. I had really tried to get up everyday prior to her visit so that I could be more mobile and ready to go out and about with her. We'd talked about going to the movies and out to eat and then just hanging around the house so I thought I could do that. But shopping ........I'm not really good in crowds and hustle and bustle, ya know? Anyway......I Drove(which causes me to be very anxious), and after parking I said, 'I'm not to sure I can do this"..... My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty, I was just freaking, ya know? She said to me, "Just take a deep breath and do it, quite being silly. Just get yourself together and do it, that's all you have to do". When I think about it now I am still at a loss for words......'get over myself', 'just do it'. Our shopping trip was cut short after I told her I needed to go to wait for her in the car. She was so [censored] but I was freaking out. I was just in a panic and trying my best not to make a scene.The people were starting to rush by me and my heart was beating so fast and I thought I was going to pass out. The minute I got out of the store, which I ended up running out of, I began to feel better. She paid for her stuff and came out. I was glad she took her time because it gave me time to collect myself as well as I could. She ended up going to my cousins for Thanksgiving and not calling to invite me. She called me yesterday to say goodbye and explained that she didn't call to invite me for Thanksgiving because she 'figured I couldn't stand all the people'. She said her goodbye and did ask if I was feeling better, and I replied, oh yes much better as I swallowed the lump in my throat and held back the tears I was about to release. I wanted to scream and yell at her but I couldn't, all I could do was wimp out. I guess I just can't,'just get myself together'. I need to quit ranting about it and let it go, which is why I decided to send this email. I thought it might make me feel better. Sorry about all the rantng........I feel so ridiculous even whining about it but she really hurt my feelings and it was such a shock, her reaction I mean. I thought she would be more .......I don't know , just nicer I guess. Today is my first day out of bed and I am feeling better. I wish I could have made the doctors appointment I missed. I can't even go out to get my mail so far so, I will just have to see what tomorrow brings. Thanks for listening.
Posted By: misba Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 01/20/09 07:26 AM
I know what you mean. Humor can take your mind off your problems long enough for the medication to kick in. please share your succss story on humor
helping cure depression.

I am so sorry. It really hurst when those people in our families, the ones we love the most - just don't get it.

It also makes us really mad. I'd be willing to bet that if you really took a long and hard look at those tears, most of them were due to frusration and anger as much as hurt and sadness.

For those of us with Depression and anxiety issues, we usually don't do so good with confrontation - which is why you didn't say anything back to your aunt. So the anger comes out as tears instead of yelling. We take the anger out on ourselves.

Please call the counselor and explain why you were unable to get out of bed. Tell her (or him) how hard it is for you to make the step to get out of your home. They might be able to find a way to come to you. Maybe not, but it is worth a try.

But know that this step is the best step you can take. It is sooooo scary, because it does mean change, but it means it for the better.

I would like to share my personal story of Depression with you that is on the website here. This may not be the path you need to take, but it will let you know that you are not alone. Hang in there.
Experiencing In-House Treatment for Depression
Posted By: jamesa Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 02/02/09 10:19 AM
I am not a doctor, just sharing my personal experience as I have had depressions and anxiety for sometime. The best way to get over anxiety and depression 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 like Xanax to get over anxiety and depression, but these should only be used in accordance with the instruction of a physician. There is a lot of fake selling of such medicines on internet, so before you can order it online just make sure it is a real pharmacy.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 02/10/09 01:54 AM
There are now many support people who can do their work over the phone or even over the internet. So for people who have anxieties about leaving home, you can still get help. If you fall into this category definitely look into your options - having some help is better than having no help!
Posted By: Jilly Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 02/11/09 12:33 AM
Doni, I am sorry your aunt didn't get it. I encounter this with my family over and over again. I have trouble getting out of the house as well if there are people anywhere near where i am going. I always feel better in the wilderness, but can lose it in public. It's just best to stay home most of the time.

You are not alone in this. keep coming onto the Bellaonline forums; as Rosie said, everyone here is nice and supportive. smile
Posted By: Doni Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 03/13/09 07:29 AM
I, too, read the 'Eat, Pray, Love and depression book. I liked it, but to me it was more like a romantic comedy that helped this incredibly, financially secure women with her divorce and other crisis she was having in her life. I have been deppressed on and off through my life but for the last 4yrs, it's been rough. I have anxiety attacks and for the begining of these first two years I didn't get out of bed without the help of a friend, I NEVER went out of my house and so on. I have had on and off counseling and a few people do still email me sometime, but really, I'm no better off with my depression than I was two years ago. I take some meds now that help with anxiety, so I can go to the grocery store and church every now and then.
So to me, the book was entertaining but not therapuetical. I suppose I might feel better if I could leave on an adventure as this woman did and my life would be changed forever but to say it would rid me of my depression?
After the last page I felt like I had read a good book, but not one that had anything to do with depression.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 03/13/09 07:50 AM
Doni - I'm so sorry that you've been depressed for four years. Remember, the woman in the book had to take a solid year to get on her feet, so it was never instant for her. It's taking you four years which is fine for your situation. We are all different. It sounds like you are doing better than you were four years ago! You've made a lot of progress and can be proud of that.

It's important to look at small victories. Don't judge yourself against others. If you are nervous about going to church, and you go and enjoy the sermon, then that is a small victory. Give yourself credit for that!

Many of our forum members share your anxieties. It is a situation many of us face. You are not alone!

What in particular about your current life do you wish you could change?
I read the book and loved it. Although I don't have depression, my Dad has suffered with severe clinical depression for more than two decades so I am familiar with how devastating it can be. And if anyone thinks that it is possible to talk someone out of depression, they have never been with it up close and personal.

I, too am put off with the negative comments, about Liz Gilbert's memoir. Why is is that we are so afraid to let people tell their stories, or God forbid, live their lives on their own terms?

I am also a big fan of the works of Jerry and Esther Hicks who openly advise living your life for yourself, not for anyone else. They point out the amazing hypocrisy in calling someone selfish for doing what they want instead of what you want them to do!
Posted By: Biggest Loser Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 05/10/10 11:23 AM
Eat, pray and depression may also cause to extra weight gain. Depression allows person to take more food but the person must have to avoid intake of a lot of food.
Posted By: Brightfuture Re: Eat, Pray, Love and Depression - 07/12/10 10:56 PM
I also enjoyed the book Eat, Pray, Love. I found it to be a beautiful story of learning to take care of yourself when circumstances are rough. Often when you are depressed, the last thing you think about is nurturing yourself. I admired the writer's honesty. Her grief was tangible. So was her recovery. A must read in my opinon ~Brightfuture
So true, Lisa, but it's because of a lack of understanding of what depression really is, as well as the stigma attached to depression and mental illess in general. It's the subject of one of my articles, "Stigma of Depression."

BellaOnline's Depression Site

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