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Any wizards getting ECT, TMS, or Spravato?
I've tried dozens of psychiatric medications and therapy techniques. I also tried a bunch of "alternative" treatments (such as acupuncture, sound baths, float tanks, TCM, CST, reiki, ayahuasca, microdosing, etc). None of them worked in the long run.
I got a referral to a specialist earlier this week. I hope something good comes out of it.


Wait, OP, did you undergo ECT, or did I misunderstand you?


No. I got a referral to a treatment resistant depression specialist. It's up to the doctor to decide if I'll get ECT, TMS, or Spravato.
Just wondering if any wizzies have gone through similar treatment.


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>OP fell for the ECT meme

Can you describe how does it feel like? I've had regular seizures before and it's extremely painful. The pain in your head, the confusion, the pain you get from falling down.

I've been depressed for long too. I've just learned to not want things, I still get depressed but less depressed because I desire less and less the older I get. I can't say I'm free from desire though.


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Seems kinda extreme. I get that you "tried" a bunch of stuff, but have you ever considered you're just trying to find a quick and easy solution to a complex problem? Most of these seem like "magic", do this and you'll magically feel better and more energized. The thing you're missing is self-understanding, but not its meme psychedelic form.

You're depressed because you're unadapted to life and all that stems from a failure of development. Eventually the environment stresses you out enough that you started showing symptoms of withdrawal, demotivation, lethargy, an aversion to everything. A pill isn't going to help with that and neither is frying your brain. This isn't a small anomaly in your brain, like a cancer that needs to cut out, it's woven into your very being and who you are. Nothing except the right kind of experience and further development can absolve that. The best kind of therapy is the one that teaches you to pay attention to yourself and notice all the little automatic sequences in your thinking, behavior, ways of seeing or ignoring, places where you repress and divert, things you don't want to think about or can't handle thinking about.

The whole search for a magic solution is a pipe dream. Your best bet is a deep understanding of your own psychology, not gained by charts and graphs in a textbook but built through careful self-observation of your own direct experience. No one else has access to your mind, at best these doctors think they can tap you with a few electroshocks and re-organize you into a well-adjusted person, about as likely as throwing a deck of cards on the floor and expecting a well balance tower to emerge.


The most effective antidepressants are MAOIs (Parnate, Nardil etc), but the problem is if you combine it with certain foods or meds (including some OTC meds) you can die, but they work for most people. Have you tried one of those?


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I fell for it too. Also I have seen it performed on other people, not the best thing to watch to be fair.
You don't actually feel anything painful as you are heavily sedated through it, maybe some little confusion or headache right after you wake up.

The most annoying thing happens the week after the first one when you start to forget little things for them to comeback randomly, at some point I even forgot how to make my own signature.
About it's effectiveness I'd say yes, it helped a lot spend a lot of time not feeling miserable and wanting to die for months but eventually the thing wore off and my psychiatry wanted me to go through it again just like that and that's when I stopped seeing him.

What >>221866 says has some truth, any kind of treatment and therapy is meaningless if you always have to go back to the life that got you depressed in the first place, I think that's the crux between the treatment on a normal depression and the depression someone like wizard has. Funnily enough professionals always seems to want to dismiss you when you bring up that saying you don't have attitude of change or whatever.
However I don't believe everyone is capable of the heavy self-introspection needed to understand their very own depression in the case the conventional means don't work, which can take years or even decades.
Hence why these treatments sound attractive to keep your less volatile.

As for OP, you can try all that stuff but as you should know I wouldn't hold my breath if was you.
Wish you the best of luck fellow Wiz


>Funnily enough professionals always seems to want to dismiss you when you bring up that saying you don't have attitude of change or whatever.
They believe that the patient has to have an active role in improving his mental health.


This is one of the most articulate posts on anything I've ever read. This isn't something a regular wizard or normie would say, what are you? Not even most psychologists or psychiatrists come with answers like this. Not even I could had said the same words in english, only in my native tongue could I had construed such an articulate idea.


Wiz, you’ve helped me make a breakthrough. I realize now that it’s all about psychology. Learning the ins and outs of one’s own mind is the most important and beneficial thing we can do. Thank you.


CBT is about analyzing thought patterns. Understanding why you're depressed isn't that hard. If anything heavy introspection is a major trait of depressives because normal people don't actually spend a lot of time introspecting. Just because you have negative thought patterns doesn't mean you don't have something wrong with your brain chemistry or anatomy. Very few things can affect real changes. For instance, a lot of learning disabilities involve sensory overload and feeling depressed. There is no way to fix the brain parts in the worst cases and suicide rates are high in learning disabled people.

The electroshock therapy works if it's depression from a circumstance that is changeable, which is why it was mainly done by wealthier people like Sylvia Plath and Carrie Fisher who had trauma from beforehand. You do have to do it more than once, but if your life is still shitty it won't do a whole lot.


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I have a real distaste for CBT. It's one of those theories that's based on "common sense" and yet can be easily disproved by personal experimentation. The idea is that thoughts affect feelings and behavior and vice versa. They're deliberately vague on this exact mechanism because they have no real clue.

A CB therapist might say "You are depressed because you have depressive thoughts" but if you ask him "Then why don't I feel better when I push positive thoughts? Why can't I dictate my own feelings and behavior?", and he would reply "Ah, well, it's because you don't believe them". From this, you can deduce that thoughts are simply expressions of a deeper structure, call it "beliefs". The CBT approach would be to keep bashing your head against the door in order to open it, focus on practice and repetition in order to undo whatever a "belief" is. Pretty much every therapy hits this wall and they obfuscate the contradictions in their theory with the idea that it simply takes time to undo neural circuitry or that you're not trying hard enough or some other excuse.

CBT theory falls apart when you consider that thoughts, feelings and behavior are really just expressions of a much deeper structure. Something which makes a thought "believable" or a feeling compelling or a behavior appropriate, is essentially how you perceive the world. A negative thought doesn't cause negative feelings, they're simply different forms of expression of how the world appears to you that might occur together (correlation not causation). First the world appears as depressing and then you might or might not have a depressive thought (many people do not have an inner monologue, something which CBT theory rarely talks about or would simply shoe-horn a thought anyway by saying its out of awareness).

You are depressed because the world really does appear depressing, without potential, full of drudgery and effort and suffering with nothing at the end of it. Your thoughts, feelings and behavior are simply side-effects of your perception, something which is automatic but is shaped by previous experience and learning. No real change can happen solely through observable behavior since even if you manage to change your "expression", beneath you still perceive the world in the same way but have simply learned to go against what is natural and compelling to you, to what your therapist or others say is appropriate and normal. Disregarding your own direct experience in this way is not a way to get better.

Like I said, this is a problem of development. You suffer because you're unadjusted to life and to your worldly circumstances. While the way you perceive the world is not "wrong", the negative features you experience are all there, it is simply not an optimal, adaptive way that would minimize suffering and maximize happiness (really the best you can hope for as a biological organism). I think a key feature of depression is that the person feels compelled to seek out all these negative features, to deepen one's demotivation and justify one's complete inaction and dismissal of the world. This is most often an automatic and unconscious process, one which has an opposite in "mania", where the person is compelled to see potential in everything. I don't really know what causes it, but surely the most adaptive form of perceiving the world includes both the positive and negative features.

Thanks wiz, but I think you might be a little too easily impressed.

Glad you feel that way. Here's a chart I made for /lit/ that introduces you to the various popular psycho-therapeutic approaches. You can use this as a helpful guide to understanding yourself but keep in mind that none of these approaches have the complete picture, only one perspective that is often very limited and at best provides a small hint of the right direction.


If it's automatic, then nothing can be done. It gets ingrained because the individual isn't deriving any benefit and is more introspective and inwardly self-critical. Normal people who are in bad situations just drink or adopt other vices or religion. Positivity typically results from things going well more often than not or some sort of unfounded belief that things will improve, which isn't the case for people who are depressives due to overarching circumstances. For instance, having a lower ability to learn things or being crippled. Most people who end up on an asocial imageboard posting about depression don't want to "adapt" to their fixed circumstances and minimize suffering.


Many things become automatic after a period of learning. Check out this guy that learned how to ride a backwards bike, then had to unlearn it so he could ride a normal bike again.


Bad life circumstances might contribute to depression, but there's people that have great circumstances, people that should be happy, nonetheless still experience depression because of this biased perception that seeks out negative features. You won't really understand this until you observe this processes in your own experience.

>don't want to "adapt" to their fixed circumstances and minimize suffering

I meant adapt to the world, so that you can improve your circumstances. It's difficult to get anything done with depression because any venture is immediately judged as without potential, not worth the effort and this naturally results in demotivation. Even if it's possible to fix a problem, you will either miss the possible solution because you aren't looking for it or be too unmotivated to actually do the required actions. You aren't as good at predicting the future as you might believe.


That isn't quite the same as an underlying mental process. That's more muscle memory. Basically, there isn't much of a difference between CBT and "unlearning" negativity in the way you're describing it.

That isn't the same thing at all. Depression from negative circumstances isn't the same as one that isn't directly tied to anything. That's the reason why ECT is effective in some people or light therapy.

After a certain point, either you have the intellectual capacity to improve your circumstances or you don't. People typically don't exist solely in a major depressive state. The severity and length of depressive episodes varies. Plenty of people get up and invest a lot of effort into something and if various efforts end in failure, it increases the severity of depressive periods. There are limited opportunities for people to improve their circumstances and the window closes the more you age.

If someone's just 18 or whatever, then initial motivation could be an issue. If someone is in there late 20s or past 30, then they will be pretty certain of what they can or can't do. People who are less intelligent tend to have to use more mental energy. Life outcomes reward relatively few and punish most. Plenty of people fail regardless of how hard they try at anything.


Sure, the video showcases muscle memory, but the more general point is about learning. The guy tried to articulate it as "there is a difference between knowledge and understanding" because even if you know the bike is reversed, your lower level systems still operate under your previous experience. At one point, he's trying to ride a normal bike in Amsterdam and after several tries it "clicks" and goes back to the regular bike learning. That "click" coincides with the neurological process of memory reconsolidation, where previous long-term memory becomes updated or erased due to an experiential mismatch.

Perception is simply another automatic, unconscious system that is susceptible to learning. Extreme bias in perception results in either depressive or manic symptoms, because the primary feature of perception is to filter your experience and make quick subjective judgments that end up influencing your motivational and affective systems. The thing about negative circumstances is that its extremely subjective what that means, whether a particular thing seems like an insurmountable obstacle depends entirely on your perception of it. Even if you are quote-unquote objectively in an inescapable circumstance like being a cripple, whether that bums you out is a matter of how you perceive it. A cripple could have entirely normal mood while a person in much better circumstances could fluctuate and never find stability. Of course, not all suffering is a matter of perception, but there's no doubt that a certain class of suffering is self-inflicted, completely internal to a person i.e. what's the difference between being punched for failing and simply failing? One has actual external consequences, the other only might possibly have internal consequences, if the failing is perceived as terrible or shameful.

> Basically, there isn't much of a difference between CBT and "unlearning" negativity in the way you're describing it.

Then you've completely misunderstood it. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing cognition (thoughts) and behavior. Perception is a lower level system, it's not a matter of conscious decision making but rather the result of previous learning and experience. As such, it can only be changed by the right experience, something which triggers memory reconsolidation and results in that instantaneous, effortless "click" like in the video.

There's a study that points out how the cognitive component of CBT had no significant effect on depression treatment and that the behavioral component was entirely sufficient by itself. However, it is not a change in behavior but the increase in experiences that has the potential to change perception. The neat thing is that your mind responds to imagined experiences as if they were real, which actually makes them a completely viable tool for changing perception. How a particular corrective experience looks like exactly depends on your particular learning and the conditions for triggering an experiential mismatch. Perhaps you are terrified of being embarrassed in front of people, then a contradictory experience where embarrassment was present but not only not terrible but perhaps even good or desirable somehow. Such an experience shatters previous conceptions and would likely remove hyper-vigilance and social anxiety, because your perception no longer considers it a threat. A cognitive therapist might say that you changed your "belief" in this case, but you didn't employ any rational arguments, you saw with your own eyes, you experienced something contradictory and your perception of the world changed as a result. I often use meditative exploration when a particular situation bugs me, creating contradictory experiences that change how I perceive certain parts of it.

The reason why behavioral activation usually works for depression is because if a person perceives that they couldn't possible get out of bed, the very act of doing that serves as a contradictory experience and serves to change the bias at least momentarily. But, the person might keep going back to the bias because it serves a vital, emotional purpose. If I think of XYZ working out then that means…and you fill in the blank. There is a dread in thinking about potential, things being better, and so on. This kind of theme of emotional learning is present in Bruce Ecker's work, which I highly recommend.


Your ideas are well thought out, however I don't really get how one is supposed to change an underlying structure of beliefs simply by imagining contrary experiences. My whole life, whenever I put myself in perspective to other people, all I ever remembered is failure, shortcoming, being retarded basically. In my experience thinking about your own mental deficiencies thus trying to get a better self understanding never worked out. As plain and stupid as it sounds, the only thing that helped me was medication, which changed my perception of the world in a way that I was able to see potential and positive things again.


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Go for a walk man.


Why are you butthurt about taking walks? A mobile poster like you should enjoy them.


How am I butthurt about taking walks? I love taking walks. Hence why I suggested it to OP.


Because you’re saging and posting it in every thread, just like you did with “just lift”.


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go to the gym, wizard.


i wish i could go for nature walks, but im deep in the city.


You're actually right. You can't convince yourself of something that gets contradicted by your direct experience, which is why CBT-style rational arguments with yourself do not work and neither do all imaginary experiences. It's difficult to convince yourself that "embarrassment" can't happen, that it isn't a possibility, but perhaps you can change the quality of it from terrible to neutral and even perhaps good i.e. the subjective value judgment, that isn't inherent in the thing-in-itself (apples are red vs red is pretty).

I'll try to explain how this works.

There's documented cases by Bruce Ecker where imaginative techniques like this have resolved numerous symptoms. His methodology, Coherence therapy, informed by the neurological process of memory reconsolidation, essentially aims to bring the client into awareness with the unconscious emotional usefulness of his symptom (a pro-symptom position) which is contradictory to his conscious rejection of the symptom (an anti-symptom position). For instance, someone might come in complaining about procrastination and he might consciously believe that this is detrimental to him and causes suffering, and yet, procrastination might be a way of getting something much more important done or to avoid a greater suffering than failure. The clients bumps into this "emotional truth" all on his own through some other imaginative techniques, without the therapist pushing an interpretation. Once you get at that point, the therapist then contradicts that emotional truth by finding a contradictory experience in the person's past and juxtaposing it with the person's current experience. 9/10 times, the person gets an a-ha moment, a sort of "click" which creates rapid changes and the symptom goes away, while the immediate experience of past deeply held truths and beliefs is often something like "it seems silly i believed that".

I'm jumping through a lot of complexity, but the more general gist of the whole thing (beyond Ecker's conceptualization) is that there are certain internal conditions which govern various automatic, unconscious processes. In Ecker's case, this is the pro-symptom position, the emotional usefulness and necessity of a symptom which keeps it in place, which is governed by certain knowledge of the world, the self and others gained through past experience (this is what he aims to contradict). As a child, you might implicitly learn a certain "fact" about dealing with others that, while outside of your conscious awareness, nonetheless affects your various unconscious, automatic processes i.e. your perception of people, motivation and subjective value judgments around people. You might get frustrated at you inability to trust others or to get close to them, but certain internal conditions keep your unconscious processes in a state that moves you away from that aim. A sufficiently corrective experience can rapidly change seemingly very deeply rooted symptoms, simply because the right internal conditions were changed and your unconscious, automatic processes no longer create a barrier. The popular idea in therapy is that change takes time, but this comes from the perspective that all change comes from new learning and in most therapy you simply learn to suppress, ignore various automatic parts of your experience, rather than trying to actively change them.

My conceptualization is a little more general than Ecker's. His approach deals with a lot of emotional complexity, most of which I think is just fluff that obfuscates the real mechanism that triggers memory reconsolidation. While he acknowledges the unconscious and its ability to manifest symptoms based on certain knowledge, he doesn't theorize much about what these processes are and how they work.

My focus is on identifying specific internal conditions which govern automatic processes like perception. It's easy to see how perception creates stuff like depression, anxiety, procrastination, basically all the usual symptoms in the DSM except maybe psychosis but even that could be caused by extremely turbulent perception.

So, how can the right imaginary experiences create deep lasting change rapidly? Because it changes an internal condition that governs your unconscious, automatic processes. Perception doesn't respond to verbal arguments or abstract reasoning, it responds only to specific experiences. Repeated experiences create perceptual learning (the more you play chess, the less you have to "think" and the more you just "see"), contradictory experiences update or erase that learning. The thing I do not understand yet is what specific aspects of an experience do that. For instance, if your goal is to change the valence, the subjective value judgment of "embarrassment", simply telling yourself that it's not a big deal doesn't work, but a specific experience will change that, an experiential mismatch, something which causes the brain to change an internal variable. Even an imagined experience can do that, provided it hits the bullseye so to speak. If you focus on imagining various contradictory experiences, eventually you will find something that makes you feel different as a result. If I understood the exact mechanism, it would be trivial to know what experience to imagine, but with meditative exploration you're essentially shooting in the dark, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.


That was a brutal wall of txt, but I'm glad I read it. From years of constant introspective musings I've guessed at an idea that is somewhat similar, but I've been unable to put it into words. I'll check out this Bruce Ecker fellow and read what he has to say. Thanks anon.


Thanks for reaching out to me. I really appreciate that you took the time to write that and provide practical advice rather than baseless platitudes. I don’t think anyone has ever done for me. Thank you.
Ayahuasca contains DMT and an MAOI, so I guess that counts. It basically causes a mild MAOI overdose. That’s what makes people violently throw up. The first time that I drank it, I felt like my depression was completely alleviated for a week. I was convinced that I had found a miracle cure. After that, I participated in a dozen more ceremonies. My depression creeped back and the group started demanding more money, so I quit.
Funny coincidence. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was a kid. I was subsequently prescribed Synthroid. I’ve been prescribed too much Synthroid before and felt awful. I don’t think it’s a good idea for people without hypothyroidism to self-medicate with thyroid hormone. Then again, I’m not a medical professional.
Good advice.


Have you tried ketamine?


You're doing God's work anon.
Could you go a little bit deeper in what you have termed meditative exploration? Because meditation for me is a state of emptiness without a defined purpose. Is it just that you try to imagine a concrete scene as if it was real and then so to speak go through different kind of emotions and reactions you could have in that scene, how these emotions control your behavior and how you would estimate the usefulness of the emotion in regards to the behavior which follows? I guess it is advisable to use scenes which are connected to your personal memories, trying to relive them from a distance and see how they could have been different, and in the optimal case even having an actual re-experience of the original situation? It's kind of a blind search it seems, you can get lucky finding some past errors and see that you were wrong, still I find it hard to believe how I would trust these explorations, as they in the end are made in a safe space, away from the cruelty of face to face immediate social reality.


Yes, it's different from usual meditation because it's not about making your mind empty, but about active imagination. I usually just lie on the bed and make myself comfortable, it's completely a mental thing.

So, one thing that we definitely know about memory reconsolidation is that re-activation of the target learning is required before it can be updated or erased. This is why you go through various vivid explorations of problematic scenarios and they can be from memory or custom made. Going with a specific scenario from memory is better because you often don't have a conscious awareness of what specific aspect of the situation is so problematic to you. You might have theories, but they're usually rationalizations after the fact and might be wrong. Once you have a way to consistently re-activate the problematic experience i.e. anxiety, various difficult emotions, an urge/compulsion to do something etc. you then try to find what aspect of the experience causes this, by sensing it out, not really thinking about it. If you feel its X part of the experience, then test it out through imagination what happens if its not there, does the symptom also disappear? Its easy to set up these kinds of experiments and verify your own theory.

After this, it's get a little fuzzy and vague. With the specific trigger in mind, I try to make myself feel different about it, trying to change its quality. Which sometimes works and other times it doesn't. It's easy to just change the situation so that the trigger is absent and that usually resolves the feelings, but I think the goal is to change how you feel while that trigger, that aspect of the situation is there. How to exactly do this, I don't know. From what I understand about MR and Coherence therapy, it's about experiential mismatch, contradicting some aspect of that thing so that it loses its problematic quality. It seems to help to verbalize the quality of the thing in words, which makes it easier to contradict.

One time, I removed this seemingly decade long sense of apprehension and social anxiety that I've had since young adulthood. I've explored that anxiety quite a bit through different scenarios, but even something trivial like walking down the street re-activated it, something about being seen, even by strangers felt really uncomfortable and always activated terrible feelings about myself.

I've revisited the "walking down the street" scenario many times without yielding much, but one time I guess I did something different and experienced that "click". I remember thinking, "People always try to find reasons to look down on you" and having it feel deeply true and real for me and then it didn't and the feeling went away with it too. I didn't try to contradict that claim, but somehow just simply verbalizing it and putting it into words immediately caused a kind of shit test from my mind and it didn't feel true anymore. This might be what Bruce Ecker calls "spontaneous memory reconsolidation" where it just happens on its own for whatever reason. I really can't say if it was the verbalization or perhaps something I did immediately after it that transformed that sense of threat from other people.

I recommend reading Ecker's work (check out the chart, "Emotional learning" part) to give yourself an idea of the whole process and to give you actual case studies. You can't know what these people were thinking at the time, but certain aspects of the process are the same for each person, namely the discovery process of finding the trigger, re-activating it and then contradicting the experience somehow to yield change. Ecker also recommends testing if the whole thing worked by seeing if you can re-activate the experience again. If you can't, you did something right.

Hope it helps.


Much appreciated, I'll look into Ecker's stuff. What I need the most is clarity. Your posts transport this clear view which I lack in my own thoughts, which are all over the place and chaotic. That's maybe the most I can expect from such studies, not a timeless truth about the mind and how it works, but a narrative with which I can work and which is good enough to give me a sense of comprehension about how I function.


I did ECT. Didn't work, but the drugs they give you feel nice for about a second before you go dark.

Nardil is one hell of a drug. Not to be fucked with lightly. It can make you into a different person. It just blasts your brain with all sorts of neurotransmitters both uppers and downers at the same time. I went weeks at a time without any sleep on it. Apparently it can completely suppress people's REM sleep but they just keep going anyway. It also started making my blood pressure drop like crazy to the point that I lost vision and passed out just from standing, and it made me super horny but unable to cum. That shit can't be healthy. I will never fuck with that drug again.

I agree with most of this but I have to take objection to this line:
>You're depressed because you're unadapted to life and all that stems from a failure of development.
This perpetuates the normalfag meme that society is always desirable to adapt to and that once you have removed all barriers to adapting to it you will be happy. While this is mostly true, adapting to your society does tend to make people happier, if the society itself is severely sick and adapting to it no longer makes sense you can be depressed because of that. Normies live in bubbles of delusion, unaware of macro-trends that are wholly unsustainable and therefore require transformative change of the social structure and way of life, but if you step outside those bubbles it's hard if not impossible to simply go back. Also, sometimes things are outside of people's control, they can't simply adapt and find their place in society because there are no opportunities for people like them. If they are stupid and ugly there is no life out there for them except for lowest of the low jobs that suck terribly and pay like shit or maybe nothing at all. Sometimes it's not people's fault they can't adapt to society, it's society's fault for not providing them the opportunity.


Adaptation doesn't necessarily mean to conform to society. There's more than one way to adapt and I'm using it in a very general manner where adaptation means minimizing suffering while maximizing happiness, which is simply one measure. This is different from the evolutionary perspective where not spreading your genes would be a failure of adaptation and the overall happiness of the organism does not matter.

>Also, sometimes things are outside of people's control, they can't simply adapt and find their place in society because there are no opportunities for people like them.

I didn't say a person's failure of development is their fault. Sometimes we have very real biological limitations and whether our environment will shape us to be well-adjusted is more often than not simply a matter of chance. If you are self-aware and can understand how your previous experience has shaped you, you can find ways of organizing your psyche in more adaptive ways which almost always transfers to a better adaptation to ones environment.

Some people have the unfortunate luck to have a psyche organized around rejecting any possible solutions and entirely focused on justifying one's depression and lack of potential, which makes the probability of self-improvement essentially nil. Whether a person can get over that kind of internal resistance is a matter of self-awareness and whether they can recognize a self-created barrier or not.


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You're either a therapist, a psychologist or both. You're not a wizard. You're a professional that found a "beehive" of specific loonies here. Prove you're a wiz or go away.


Hey OP, I did intravenous Ketamine after about 8 years of failed medications. Spravato is a form of ketamine called esketamine that's expensive and less effective. Do intravenous ketamine if you're serious. It was about $2k for 6 sessions (no insurance), and the compounded nasal spray they give you after was about $70/month.

As for the effects… it cleared up the fog that was ruining my life. I was able to concentrate on tasks again. I felt less doomed. It did not help my panic disorder but the effects on depression were significant. The transfusion experience is unique. For me, I mostly felt like I was falling, with some mild hallucinations. You know that feeling when you wake up from a nap and don't know what time it is, or who you are? That was it. However, other people report vivid hallucinations. They will inject you with a benzo if your heart rate indicates stress, so you don't need to worry about a "bad trip".

I still have episodes of depression but they actually end instead of being one long hell trip. I'm still a socially crippled loser but at least I can read a book or complete an online class now instead of sleeping all day. If you have any questions let me know. Leddit's /r/therapeuticketamine is the largest collection of experiences if you want other perspectives.


How are you coping with panic disorder? I'd say I'm just generally anxious and worried and no amount of analysing my thoughts will help, something is wrong with my brain, it's crippled for me years, I'm on survival mode, I'm just taking it day by day, trying to get thibgs done as much as possible, which is very little, until i've run out of the last couple of things I'd like to see if they fix me.


I take Lexapro which stops me from having panic attacks. I know what you mean by feeling like your brain is broken. I started having random panic attacks as a child, so clearly there's some chemical problem up there. What you describe sounds more like general anxiety, which I think the ketamine helped me with, and could help you. I used to get caught in paralyzing loops where I did nothing due to depression, but beat myself up for it. Made me anxious 24/7. Felt like I couldn't take a break - had no ability to plan for the future. Thankfully the ketamine broke me out of that cycle.


I'm neither, just well read. Professionally I'm a programmer.
How exactly should I prove my wiz status? My wizhymen is still intact.


do you think we have souls? something beside the known classical material part of our brains?


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volcels are still whizzies.


what programming language(s) do you love the most


professional programmers hate programming


which one(s) you hate the least then?
are you him or someone else? i was a 'professional' programmer until i made it.


I am pretty sure being a virgin by our own choice is what differentiates us from crab crab losers also volcel sounds like a faggy word from reddit or something


Extremely off-topic, but these days I just use whatever I need to get the job done. I find C# to be the most pleasant to work with in terms of syntax and library/tool support, but I admire C for its simplicity and low-level capabilities.

I'm not going to be switching careers, if that's what you're implying. Programming is fun more often than not and it pays reasonably well without stressing me out everyday. Being a therapist requires a certain agreeable personality and "bed-side manner" that would be very difficult for me to fake and navigating the complexity of people's emotional lives sounds beyond tedious. My interest in psychology came from the simple idea that you need to understand your mind in order to have any chance of making it better. Another person is essentially two layers removed from your mind and it didn't seem reasonable that another person could understand me better than I could. A phenomenological approach seems like the key to insight, observing and changing direct experience rather than simply changing observable behavior.


do not ghost this thread. keep looking back at least weekly.


I think the fact that you have the skill 'programming' and having a career and that it is fun to you, pleasant, and pays reasonable is the ONLY reason why you enjoy life. It has nothing to do with psychology or whatever. It's just that you have an ability that you like which also makes money. Everything else is just bullshit. People who can't do anything will just suffer and there is nothing they can do about it. Period.


Yes, we should rename this board /ldar/ to make it clear and avoid possible future confusions of what this board is all about


Probably because it's "Depression board" not "depressed board"


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I don't think another wall of text is going to help convince anyone when their perception is entirely organized around the specific aim of demotivating themselves and finding justification for their current state. Excluding some improbable black swan event that produces a corrective experience, it's unlikely that these people will ever get better solely by reading my improvebrah posts (as I've mentioned, thinking seldom results in a change in lower level processes unless it leads to novel, contradictory experiences).

That's what depression is essentially, being incapable of even entertaining the idea of worthwhile solutions or seeing potential in anything. As a result, their imperfect circumstances get worse due to entropy and this just serves to further solidify their negative bias. Are you really incapable of doing anything? Who knows, but if you are convinced of that idea, the probability of actually developing a skill truly does become zero. Even the delusional Dunning-Kruger has a higher probability of making it if his beliefs make him put the time and effort that can result in the actual development of skill.

If I can appeal to your rational side, thinking in terms of probabilities is a better way to make decisions than simply basing it off your gut feeling, which in all likelihood could be severely wrong and biased - manifesting itself in something like resigning yourself to wasting away or the opposite of perhaps putting your life savings on the roulette table.

"Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine. He is a machine which, in right circumstances, and with right treatment, can know that he is a machine, and having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine."

Unfortunately, to stop being an automaton, you must first realize you are one, but I do not have the ability to implant that self-awareness in you. I wish you luck anyway.


Hello perceptionwiz, you have heeded my advice and are starting to see the light, i'm glad about that.
Not that your wall-o-texts aren't useful at times, but without first acknowledging the possibility of genuine hopelessness, it likely falls on deaf ears the first time around.


volcels are in fact the truewizzies


Exactly. As a failed programmer myself, I know this all too well. I'm not really severely depressed in a medical sense right now, but I fail at everything I try and that's in spite of any optimism I have going in. It's always a recurring pattern of defeat, then find something else to do, go in with high spirits, then waste lots of time and money and be cleaned out meaning I'm worse off each time.


This is spot on. A treatment like ketamine will definitely do wonders for clinical depression. It doesn't really make you better than you were before the clinical depression. If someone could do certain tasks before clinical depression fell upon them and they were sleeping all the time and that was the main impediment, that's remediable. The circumstance based depression will always come back if things don't go well though. Instead of it being a chemical problem, I've realized I've always just been mentally slower than everyone else when it came to doing anything at all.


>slower than everyone else when it came to doing anything at all.

There are many reasons for depression, but I think this one is very decisive. Doing drugs and medication seems to be mostly a cope for lacking skill and learning abilities, so that you feel good despite being dumb and slow.


Overeating and religion as well. When I'm really depressed, I can eat a ton. Normal dumb people are usually reliant on other people to keep them going but it's usually severely counterproductive since they tend to feed the worst sides of each other.

with asocial dumb it's the worst though since you don't tend to fit in with the other normal dumb people that are more well-adjusted to their dead end existence until they get laid off and then do harder drugs. in my case, i'm not even good at doing the routine stuff they do since I always manage to fuck something up in dead end shit jobs which is why I tried to get out of it via Uni and then later on coding bootcamp and some other failed attempts to "turn my life around". I just didn't realize how fucked I was until I found out more about learning disabilities and a lot of them matched my experience and they have a high suicide rate. It would have just been better to not try at school, act up more, and get SSI as a kid.

sorry for the blogpost but yeah.


>It doesn't really make you better than you were before the clinical depression.
I also read about something similar to the ketamine thing, regarding using propanolol (I think, or maybe some other drug), to treat anxiety. It's administered in combination with some stressful stimulus to blunt the physical stress response, and then (before the drug wears off) the patient goes to sleep. Somehow this is said to result in the removal of the response to the bad thing or memory.

But for me I can't remember ever not being like this. Even if you could take away the depression and the anxiety, well, there's nothing else to me. Would I cease to have any personality at all? Seems inevitable that it would return simply because no matter what feelings are removed there will always be the reality of me being useless subhuman garbage.


Yeah, that's the problem. I used to think if I could focus I could finally improve but it didn't make much of a difference. My brain would eventually peter out and I'd be back at square one. It just feels like having half the capacity of a normal person.

I don't see it as craving demotivation because it's more mental strain just kicks in earlier for me than other people who can learn better, so I can never really be at their level unless they're just not trying. Unless you're in engineering or a really hard school, everything is relatively easy compared to the real world where the expectations of people are pretty brutal. Same with like applying to grad schools you're supposed to be a machine that both excels at its field and does tons of shit on the side and sucks up to professors. I just could never handle the level of shit the successful people could.


Can you give further advice on the self-observation element? How does this help to change who you fundamentally are?
You need positive reinforcement in order t change the behaviour, yet, in you cannot get that, you can be stuck in the cycle


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2 years of trying meds and absolutely no help with my depression, in fact I feel way worse because I gained 100 pounds, and I'm diagnosed with high cholesterol and prediabetes. SSRIs, TCAs, antipsychotics, I tried all of them, zero help at all. Now I'm just a fat fuck, I used to be 150 pounds now I'm 250 pounds. Everyone treats me differently too now that I am fat. IMO unless you are extremely suicidal fuck meds.


You have a hymen wiz, how is this possible?


Not him, but usually when people talk like that it involves trying to catch yourself before "self-sabotaging" and not giving up. The results are chocked up to negative thought patterns that guarantee failure so if you change them, hypothetically you'd do better. The assumption is since you're putting in extended effort you will naturally improve and get positive reinforcement.

I used to get the whole "self-sabotaging" thing from my dad and I fucking wanted to kill him.


The propanolol is used to disrupt the memory reconsolidation process which effectively erases memories that produce symptoms. It's basically a drug version of what Ecker tries to do in psychotherapy form. MR is a natural process, so it doesn't require a pharmacological intervention but the exact rules around it are still debatable and a drug treatment might be more effective in certain cases, like phobias because the target learning is much easier to re-activate and then disrupt the reconsolidation process to erase it.

"Positive reinforcement" is a behaviorist term for stimuli that make it more likely someone will engage in a specific behavior i.e. a teacher praises a student for his excellent work and the student is more likely to do the desired behavior because he found the teacher's praise rewarding. But why does the student find praise such a compelling reward? Positive reinforcement is simply an outside statistical observation and is extremely dependent on the person's learning history. Sensual pain and pleasure is mostly the same for everyone, but what makes something abstract like "praise" rewarding?

In order to truly understand yourself, you can't abstract yourself away as a black box with inputs and outputs, you have to investigate your own direct experience through a phenomenological approach i.e. self-observation in the most banal form.

How does it help? Well, your thoughts, feelings and observable behavior is simply an expression of some deeper structure, how you perceive the world. The teacher's praise is so compelling because you perceive it as the sign of something great, a path towards fulfilling your potential, towards safety, security, love etc. In reality, a teacher's praise is merely a perceptual cue, a signal that you learned to see and anticipate positively, it is not like heroin or a chocolate bar where the reward is sensual. Initially, an awareness of how you experience certain cues can help you more easily disrupt the automatic, unconscious processes that create your experience. The illusion can be broken, at least temporarily.

>You need positive reinforcement in order t change the behaviour

In order to change your behavior in any consistent manner, you have to change how you consistently perceive and experience the world. That dictates what you find rewarding and what you find punishing. If you are socially anxious, you have learned to negatively anticipate certain social cues as punishing which naturally organizes your perception into hyper-vigilance and any behavior that isn't safety-producing is extremely uncompelling to you. To attempt to change your behavior would be to go against every fiber of your being, to ignore and suppress your direct experience. Change in behavior will happen naturally once you change your direct experience i.e. when certain cues are no longer threatening, punishing, terrible as they seem etc.

Self-observation can give you an understanding of what produces that experience and gives you a clear target for change. I've mentioned in this thread how the right corrective experience can rapidly undo even long-standing symptoms because they're the result of unconscious, automatic systems that suddenly flip and remove themselves as barriers. While self-observation does not in itself cause change, it is still a necessary tool in order to facilitate real change, as described in earlier posts (you can't unlearn something you aren't aware of, or at least it makes it extremely unlikely).

Actually, I don't think changing observable behavior is the right approach (this includes negative thoughts). These are simply side-effects, natural consequences of how you perceive the world. Forcing yourself to think positively simply obfuscates the real problem and your "negative" perception of the world is still there and still compels you towards "negative" thoughts. Traditional psychotherapy teaches you to suppress and ignore your direct experience, but this seldom leads to real change. The goal is to change unconscious, automatic processes that govern direct experience and self-observation is the only way to gain an understanding of these processes. Knowing that you "self-sabotage" is a surface-level symptom, but knowing what part of your experience makes it so compelling to do so is much more useful and you can work towards changing that very specific part that produces the entire thing. If you change that, self-sabotage would disappear because you would no longer feel as tho you need to do it, it is no longer compelling (ugh, I keep repeating myself, but I can't describe it any better).

Silly wizkid, have you not learned about shape-shifting spells? You have been neglecting your studies and instead playing with your wand!


>You're depressed because you're unadapted to life
Pretty much sums it up for me. Just not fit for purpose, a life incapable of living. Garbage that should have been thrown in the trash on day 1 and forgotten.


Yeah, euthanasia should be freely available to us


+In all likelihood, your lack of adaptation is because of emotional problems that create barriers for adaptive learning. Think of yourself as a person that only learned how to drive backwards and predictably can't make it in the world of forward driving. It's not that your car lacks a forward drive, but that you resigned yourself to that belief because playing with the gears was really scary or was discouraged in your backwards driving household or some other emotional reason.

The point of the analogy is that you think your lack of ability is due to physical limitations, when it's really just emotional barriers that you would rather avoid, making it extremely difficult to adapt. I'm not saying it's easy to get over them, but your fatalist perspective is compelling precisely because it alleviates your anxiety, nothing is required of you because everything is determined and fixed. But this also makes it difficult to even consider possible and worthwhile solutions, which sadly further diminishes any probability of success.


Nah, I've failed plenty of times. It doesn't alleviate my anxiety at all. In fact, it increases it significantly as the more I fail, the more desperate the situation gets.

You seemingly will never get the sensation of trying your best and failing anyways and getting flushed down the toilet of life. It's all just "emotional barriers".


You are single-handedly reforming the /dep/ culture wiz
Fatalism cannot survive you
Keep fighting the good fight


Um, lol. How many people have actually magically gotten rid of barriers by self-observation and it all disappeared? How many successful wizkids do we have following this method?

Just imagining it now, everyone who flunked out of school, got turned down after interviews, etc. is now super skilled lol.


In terms of all the anime avatar wizkid posting gimmicks, at least the one that was like "just enjoy watching anime and consuming other media" was more realistic.


>+In all likelihood, your lack of adaptation is because of emotional problems that create barriers for adaptive learning
Sounds like something that would be caused either as a product of failing at everything or as a complement by the same shitty wiring that causes not being able to succeed at anything. Chalk another one up for being a profoundly incapable 'person'. No matter how you look at it the root cause is just being total shit.


what If most of my social problems rest in the fact that I can't personally connect with the people I interact on a daily basis. I think my social anxiety stems from this, not because of my past failures with people.


You should be permanently banned for using crab speak


Ask yourself why does that create anxiety?

You might be able to give a "rational" reason, but that's simply a rationalization after the fact. Your anxiety is the natural result of perceiving "not connecting", "not fitting in" as a horrible perceptual cue. That happens automatically, regardless of your conscious understanding of that cue. At some point in your life history, you've learned to associate this cue with a negative valence and your mind is organized around avoiding it as much as possible.

What if you could make yourself feel different about that and possibly experience it in a completely different way that doesn't create anxiety? Currently you just have a vague idea of what makes you anxious, but through more time spent self-observing, you will zero-in on the exact part of the experience that is so horrible. You can then use that knowledge to easily re-activate your anxiety through imagination and focus on changing how you feel. You'll know you did something right if you cannot re-activate your anxiety using the same cue. I've already described how to do that in this thread, but the essential wisdom is that you can't change your mind with verbal reasoning but through experience that contradicts it. Like, experiencing "not fitting in" (or the exact problematic cue) as a positive thing.


>unless you are extremely suicidal fuck meds.
There nothing wrong with that, life sucks and you know that, failed normalfag


I think meds have unironically helped me. I'm on antipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulants, and gabapentin. I feel much better than I used to. I sleep better, I eat better.

Just putting this out here so fellow wizzies don't just assume meds don't work.


I wonder if this actually works for anyone or if it's just a good trolling gimmick.


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I already mentioned there are published cases where this type of techniques were used to dispel various emotional problems. Your own mileage may vary based on how competent you are at guiding these experiences in yourself (usually you're guided by a trained practitioner but even then their skill varies).


I've had some success with this with my own problems, but it's still difficult to trigger it consistently. But I've described some of the constant factors present, mainly a state of non-judgmental self-observation that leads to an a-ha moment which dispels emotional barriers (which then naturally trickles down to a change in adaptive affect and behavior that was previously blocked).

The theory and science behind it are pretty sound, probably more sound than 90% of the chart I posted. But no one really bothers to read a 300 page book or this 90 page article because it's takes more effort than guzzling pharma or reading pseudo-nihilist drivel all day.



I don't think any of it is real to the extent that they claim. Psychotherapy has never really stood up to inquiry which is why it mostly went out of business except in Hollywood movies, and now it is extended out into these increasingly ridiculous modes that are basically pseudoscience and largely unsupported by independent evidence of efficacy. Unfortunately it's quite easy for people in need of help to be captivated by magical thinking about making all their problems just go away.



Is psychotherapy really going out of business? I used to get referred for any problems even though it was a waste of time and the psychologist doing the therapy was just some middle-aged succubus that had no practical advice in multiple instances as an adult. As a teenager, I had a male fat toad LCSW and he was fucking useless and just a "do what you're told" style guy and he got me into shit over my suicide ideation.


>no one really bothers to read a 300 page book or this 90 page article because it's takes more effort than guzzling pharma or reading pseudo-nihilist drivel all day.

Everyone chooses their own poison and there is no proof that one is better than the other. It's all speculation. The way you write you are only looking down on people here and nobody likes that.


>Is psychotherapy really going out of business?

Not really. People seemingly have more mental/emotional problems than ever before and there's a great need for therapy that actually works. Is the majority of practiced therapy actually effective? Statistically, pretty much all psychotherapeutic modalities have about the same modest effectiveness regardless of methodology (see Dodo bird verdict), which means no one has it really figured out. Following any type of therapy dogmatically is a terrible idea since many of their assumptions are just plain wrong and if a person happens to get better, it's likely due to placebo or lucky circumstances.

The best thing you can do is get educated about all of the approaches and verify what works for you.

I understand being depressed, but not trying to understand or think about your condition gets no sympathy from me. The reality is that no one can help you except yourself and without any insight into your own condition, you're unlikely to get better. It's not all the same, a pill doesn't bring any insight, it's just a fart in the wind, placebo or erectile dysfunction at best.


It's easy to talk about depression when you're not depressed. You don't realize that depression makes it impossible to get educated or think rationally or do anything beyond trying to get out of bed? Of course you don't know this because you at best probably know meme depression.


You ever watched the videos and interviews with the authors of coherence theory and found them useful? If you have suggesting them may be more useful for many people here who find it easier to just listen and consume. There are a few generally I was just wondering if you'd seen them.


Yes, I've seen them all. Initially I encountered Niall Geoghegan's video introduction to Coherency therapy on youtube but I didn't find it compelling because it just seemed quite magical and "feel good" without an understanding of the back-end, so to speak. Then I saw Ecker's talk on Memory reconsolidation and it introduced a radically different approach than anything I've read since then and it didn't try to shoehorn a single therapy but made the effort of trying to integrate various modalities and explain why they seemingly worked (even fringe stuff like NLP). Ecker's interviews are also quite informative.

Coherence theory is just one modality and it certainly has its own set of assumptions that make it easier or more difficult to create transformational change, but the real value is in the MR process which isn't tied to any modality. It's a common factor that explains the effectiveness of all therapies, but certain approaches are better at triggering this process than others. Namely, approaches that focus on inner experience and that avoid counteracting symptoms which sets up the perfect environment for creating change - that's mostly what I've been describing so far.

Personally, I think CT is somewhat overly complicated, for therapists but especially for people that try to do it on their own. If you read the case studies, they are filled with a lot of emotional complexity that to me seems like complete fluff, it's people trying to put into words what really doesn't need to be put into words (often sounds like magical thinking). What actually contributes to change is what the person does implicitly with their inner experience. It's that flip I was talking about, zeroing in on a single painful part of a situation and suddenly feeling different about it. Obviously, nobody except the person can describe that but usually even they don't understand what they did.

There's also a series of videos by Dr. Tori Olds on youtube which people might find more educational since they're meant for laypeople. It's very slow spoon-feeding in an almost ASMR voice which I found kind of painful to listen to, but it might be insightful for people that are hearing about these concepts for the first time.



It's at the height of my depression that I started reading and researching solutions because it felt so painful to be alive. I tried to sleep most of the day away in order to avoid rumination and intrusive thoughts and the rest of the time I was daydreaming. I knew that life would be impossible if I didn't figure out what the hell was going on and take control. I pretty much started obsessively reading all I could about every possible psychotherapy approach and theory out there, practicing, experimenting and trying to find gold nuggets in a sea of confusion. Pills or temporary solutions were never an option because I never wanted to feel like that again, powerless against my own mind or a slave to my circumstances.

Real depression is horrible and such a state compels you to escape it, either by suicide or by any means necessary. If you are not willing to put in the effort to help yourself, then you my friend are lucky that you are comfortable enough to write long depressive blog posts and read pessimistic philosophers all day and find the intellectual effort to try to shutdown any potential solution, in short, to stay where you are in your, quite frankly, cozy reality.


It doesn't really take any effort to shut down "suggestions" that are closer to magical thinking than not.

"just imagine a shitty situation and somehow feel differently"

I'm imagining someone celebrating after getting beat up or something or getting yelled at for fucking up.


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>I'm imagining someone celebrating after getting beat up or something or getting yelled at for fucking up.

There are certainly people that after continued abuse simply learn to roll with the punches and come to see that they deserve them because it's less painful somehow. That isn't exactly adaptive learning.

The majority of emotional problems arise because as a child you implicitly learn to associate various cues with negative valence which stay there regardless of how you consciously and intellectually develop. Taking your example, learning not to fight back or defend yourself, to learn to take responsibility for other people states of mind, which manifests itself as a self-critical perception and a guilt that shuts down any ability to defend yourself.

You can't convince yourself that pain is pleasure or that red is blue, but emotional realities are much more malleable. How you feel about X or Y is seldom a matter of sensual reality but often your limited experience so far, where it is entirely possible to learn to never ever fight back or defend yourself despite the suffering that entails.

I've never said one could solve all his problems with this method, rather I've promoted self-understanding so that one can be aware of one's often limiting psychology, to question it and to notice emotional barriers that make certain problems completely unsolvable and even create more problems as you follow a path laid out by those barriers. Those emotional barriers can be very stable throughout one's life, and yet it's been shown that they can also just as easily flip like a switch.

Consider reading the literature I posted and the case studies. If you understood the process, you'd see it's nothing like suggestion which often requires continual attempts to convince oneself through repeating sentences and "rational" arguments. An imagined experience serves the purpose of contradicting a deeply held truth and turning it into a labile memory that can be updated or even erased, but you still cannot convince yourself that up is down - you can only change emotional realities, provided the right experience (which can be a memory or entirely imaginary). For instance, someone could have hold the emotional truth that fighting back and defending yourself is always bad and horrible and when confronted with a contradictory experience for the first time questions that implicit belief, not because he repeated a sentence or tried to convince himself rationally but became conscious of an experience that contradicts it.

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