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Steffen Peters and depression

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  • Steffen Peters and depression

    Good for him for talking publicly about his tough times. It may help others.
    http://dressage-news.com/2019/07/19/...ed332577154c05

  • #2
    Article was well done. I am glad someone here linked it.
    _\\]
    -- * > hoopoe
    Procrastinate NOW
    Introverted Since 1957

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, had no idea. Well done, happy to hear he seems to be beating this. It sure shows the importance of a support network and that there is never just one solution.

      Comment


      • #4
        Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

        Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
          Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

          Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
          Well, he has been "medicated" in that he is taking the CBD product. I think we should support whatever works for each individual. I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety three years ago. It was bad and had been bad for most of my life. I thought I was just an overachiever. Turns out I couldn't care less, I was driven by anxiety.

          I was medicated, which saved my life at that point. I have a friend, well meaning and coming from a place of concern, who tried to talk me out of medication. At one point she gave me a pamphlet that told me if I were just strong enough to immerse myself in meditation and yoga, I could heal myself.

          That is kind of like telling a cancer patient that they can heal themselves through meditation and yoga. Some of us need our brain health supported with medication while we also learn new coping skills and rebuild (or just simply build for the first time) positive self talk habits.

          My recovery has been possible because of medication. I was in a very dark place three years ago. I applaud SP for speaking out. To know that someone like him, someone I have admired for years, could face a similar battle and share his story makes it that much easier for me to share mine.
          Sheilah

          Comment


          • #6
            I was impressed with how difficult it was for him to cope and find his way. I think people reading the article who have some depression or know someone who is struggling with it, can look at different strategies. What works for one may not work for another and that it may take time to find the best strategy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
              Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

              Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
              Why do you feel compelled to dismiss medication?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
                I thought I was just an overachiever. Turns out I couldn't care less, I was driven by anxiety.
                Omg, I identify with this so much. Prozac saved my life and my relationships. It's crazy how long I had to live with anxiety an depression all because of the stigma against getting help for mental health. I thought I had my life together because, on paper, I was achieving so much, but really I was just being chased by my anxiety and fear of failure.

                I'm so grateful that Steffen spoke out about his own struggles. We see these top riders and we just see "they've made it" and envy their achievements, but we forget that it takes a terrible mental toll to have so much on your shoulders.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                  Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

                  Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
                  ^^^THIS is what makes recovery difficult.

                  Your attitude is very detrimental to the health of those of us with depression or other mental illnesses. You are saying this isn't a medical condition, when it is. You are feeding the stigma that keeps people from seeking and accepting the care they need.

                  To anyone who read merrygoround's ignorant and uninformed comment and decided that they were less than capable because they need medication, you aren't. You are strong for getting the care you need. You are no more broken than someone with diabetes or cancer or asthma. Keep taking care of you - you are absolutely worth it, and you are not alone in your fight.
                  "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                    Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

                    Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
                    Hey there, friend. Since you've been fortunate enough to avoid this particularly unpleasant disease, I thought it might be helpful to share my experience as someone who has been there and done that, more than once.

                    Since childhood, I lived with generalized anxiety and bouts of major depressive disorder. It was written off as the quirks of a perfectionist kid; the one time I did go to therapy, he diagnosed me as going through a rebellion against my parents (as I struggled with intrusive thoughts, unable to eat without feeling sick, and actually wanting to die).

                    A really nasty banger of an episode in my mid-20s caused me to seek serious professional help. Through years of frequent, hard-but-necessary therapy AND drugs, my depression went into remission. I tapered the drugs down; it returned with a vengeance months later. I've been on my current medication for about 3-4 years, and I continue to see a therapist for maintenance appointments. It still flares occasionally, but thankfully it's been much easier to recognize and cope with in the moment.

                    I am a slightly obsessive researcher of medical literature, and I have had conversations with my medical team about whether to taper off again. Despite all of the well-founded, peer-reviewed literature that finds maintenance drugs are critical for those of us with recurrent major depression — and despite the fact that my docs universally agree it's not worth risking a taper — every time I read a comment like yours, some little doubt in the back of my brain makes me wonder if I'm making a bad choice. I'm comfortable enough now to speak back to those doubts, but if I were just coming to grips with my diagnosis, or if I still desperately wanted to believe that I could just "get over" this? Words can do more harm than you know.

                    Drugs SAVE lives. I am here today because of medication. It's true that many people do not need them long-term, and some are leaping to pills without understanding that often you need to try therapy first (and, typically, specific modalities of therapy + medications are the most effective path forward).

                    I may well be on this medication every day for the rest of my life, just as I am for a couple of other health issues that are somehow viewed as more legitimate because they manifest as physical conditions. If anyone reading this thread is struggling, it does get better. DM me if you'd like to chat. No judgment, no pressure. You're worth it, and taking a pill is a far better outcome than wondering if it'd be easier to just not exist anymore. <3

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know a few people who lead happy, fulfilling lives because they are medicated and have the professional support they need to help with their disease. Medication is very necessary for some individuals. If you have a friend struggling with mental illness, help them find the doctors and mental health professionals they need!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                        Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

                        Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
                        Maybe you are a bit confused? Some people are depressed, but it is temporary - it could last days or weeks or months, but it is triggered by something specific (such as the loss of a child or a spouse) In that case, yes, medication is usually not the answer, or perhaps it is a temporary answer.

                        But many people ARE clinically depressed - it is an actual physical issue - sometimes it is the result of an actual chemical imbalance that CAN BE managed with medication. But you can't "cure" this, you can't "get over" this form of depression. It is hardwired in the body/mind, and the only way to help is to take medications to help rebalance the way the mind and body work. It is like any other chronic condition - like arthritis, like COPD, like asthma, like many other chronic conditions - it can be managed with medication. No one should be ashamed of having a chronic disease, and no one should be ashamed of taking medication to manage such a disease. You wouldn't ask someone with asthma to give up their inhaler - that could be life threatening? It is the same with chronic depression - giving up medication can be life threatening.

                        ETA:
                        I think this is part of the problem with the perception of mental illness in this country - people think "if you are just strong", you can "get over it". Whatever IT is - there are so many forms of mental illness, and they are not self-healing. We need to talk about this more, so people understand, this is not a mental weakness, this is not a matter of just "work harder at it, and you'll get better". But it takes big names, willing to discuss it, to make it more accepted.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                          Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

                          Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
                          Yeeeah for the last year I have had an awful time with panic attacks while in the car and general anxious feelings all the time after getting off the anxiety meds I had been on for ten years. I tried so hard to deal with it without the meds, then finally caved when I realized I was barely living an actual life and am finally starting to get back to normal after being on it for about 4 months. I can actually drive to the barn and ride in a car with people without freaking out now.

                          Sorry, but many mental illnesses are NOT manageable without medication. There are some people with very very mild forms of depression and anxiety that can get by with other methods, or those that are living stressful lives. For most of us, all the yoga, meditation, cognitive behavior therapy, CBD oil, change in diet, or mental exercises in the world won't fix it. Maybe it will make it more tolerable, but it's still like living a half-life.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I know exactly his issue with the Lexapro though, being sensitive to the meds. I had major issues the first time I tried it, tried to do 10 mg and had the same stuff he did. Ended up coming back to it but starting with half of a 5 mg pill for a few weeks, then 5 mg and haven't needed to go any higher than that, even though 10 mg is the therapeutic dose. Best way to avoid the awful side effects starting it. It's been great, besides the weight gain, the weight gain was the absolute worst. I've gained 20 pounds at least since starting it, and am really struggling to lose it. But I also have my life back, so I kind of feel like it is worth it.

                            Note though that he doesn't say he didn't take medication because he didn't want to, he couldn't take meds because of how sensitive he is to it. I was the same, but the other stuff didn't do a thing for me. So I had to figure out a way to get through the side effects while still being able to go to work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                              Depression is a terrible affliction. I've never had to deal with it personally but know others who have.

                              Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
                              I hope some of the comments in this thread make you re-think your perception of mental illness. There are so many people out there living in denial of their own mental illness because of this kind of attitude.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Worth noting, too, that depression - that is, an actual imbalance, not depression as the result of a major negative life event or social stressor - is often progressive and transient....i.e., you may have several bouts throughout your lifetime, often triggered by some kind of stressor, but those bouts tend to get more severe as you get older and harder to bounce back from if not controlled properly over time.

                                The majority of those of us living with diagnosed depression work in this way. We are better for a period, then it comes back. We find a new way to manage, then over time it isn't enough and we fall back into the hole. We climb out again, find a med that works better, lifestyle changes to help us cope, etc. It's a constant cycle. It is not a one-and-done - it's a constantly evolving battle throughout one's lifetime.
                                Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think the article is well written and I applaud Steffen for interviewing about this affliction. It affects so many people!

                                  I'm a bit disappointed in the article in that it doesn't mention Floriano's owners. They banked on Steffen after Udon and sent him to Europe on an Olympic bid. He developed the experience that likely influenced Akiko's desire to fund him tremendously after that. I mention this because he caused a lot of anxiety with Floriano's owners.

                                  I understand Steffen has a chemical imbalance but he's been pretty lucky in life. I hope he can understand this moving forward with his excellent health care regime.
                                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                                    Until people, including some psychiatrists, realize that many mental illnesses are manageable without medication. Recoveries are difficult.
                                    Some people need medication to manage their illness. Others don’t. Treatments plans are usually individually determined by the patient and their doctors. There is no one blanket plan for depression and anxiety. A medication that is a god-send for one person may have terrible side effects for another. The drug that was terrible for SP is the same drug that keeps me functioning. Celexa (citalopram) works for some people - I can’t take it because it literally makes me suicidal. But the isomer - Lexapro (ecitalopram) is ideal for me.

                                    The important thing is that people seek ANY treatment, maintain a support system, and practice the therapy that is prescribed to them. The therapy he talks about - learning to manage his thought patterns - seems to be key in his recovery and management. I can also attest that this is important for me. Negative thought patterns worsen my symptoms.

                                    If someone has a chronic chemical imbalance due to genetic or biological factors, then no amount of therapy alone will ever be enough.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Celexa is a godsend for me. The notion that we need to realize that we could wish 'it" away is as uninformed as an opinion could be.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
                                        Well, he has been "medicated" in that he is taking the CBD product. I think we should support whatever works for each individual. I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety three years ago. It was bad and had been bad for most of my life. I thought I was just an overachiever. Turns out I couldn't care less, I was driven by anxiety.

                                        I was medicated, which saved my life at that point. I have a friend, well meaning and coming from a place of concern, who tried to talk me out of medication. At one point she gave me a pamphlet that told me if I were just strong enough to immerse myself in meditation and yoga, I could heal myself.

                                        That is kind of like telling a cancer patient that they can heal themselves through meditation and yoga. Some of us need our brain health supported with medication while we also learn new coping skills and rebuild (or just simply build for the first time) positive self talk habits.

                                        My recovery has been possible because of medication. I was in a very dark place three years ago. I applaud SP for speaking out. To know that someone like him, someone I have admired for years, could face a similar battle and share his story makes it that much easier for me to share mine.
                                        Sheilah
                                        This. Depression, or anxiety, or any other "mental" condition that has a physical cause, e.g., brain chemistry, requires medication, and while yoga or meditation may help, they do not cure.
                                        Rack on!

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