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  • Topic: Transgender Related Depression

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    • June 13, 2014 1:13 PM BST
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      In the April/May 2014 issue of Frock Magazine (http://frockmagazine.com/frock026/) and again in the June/July issue, our resident Transgender Psychologist, Amanda Bruce ADHP(NC), Dip. EH (NC), EHP, UHCP Reg, looked at depression, the kind of treatments that are available and how you can help someone who is suffering or who may be having suicidal thoughts.

       

      But how widespread is depression in the trans community?  Moreso than in the wider population?  Have you ever suffered from depression and what did you do about it?  Or have you helped someone who was depressed.  If so, how did you help?

    • June 13, 2014 1:25 PM BST
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      I have long suffered from depression. I can trace it back to high school at least. It has changed over the years, but has never felt related to my transgender situation. In retrospect, I am beginning to wonder if it might have always been related in some way, even if indirectly, and certainly subconsciously.
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    • June 13, 2014 3:06 PM BST
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      I occassionally feel blue but very rarely. I noted in a response and it seems to be the case - I may be one of those people with a so-called 'happy' gene. It is sort of self-correcting. I never define myself as any of the obstacles I encounter and I know my core is solid and good - I merely seek solutions and define myself as that. The universe, even myself at times, is the question, hence I need to find the solutions. 
      This sort of philosophy helped me generate a list of observations I have posted on this site in a blog - sort of rules for life things. I have a handful of friends who wanted copies of this after perusing it. I have always been a person people call just to talk to or help in some small manner and as they note - 'you are always happy'. 
    • June 13, 2014 4:05 PM BST
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      I can relate to what you are saying Briana, about the 'self-correcting happy gene' and the knowledge and self acceptance of knowing your core is strong and good. Don't get me wrong, it's a great thing, but the one bad thing about it for me at least has been that the self correcting process sometimes keeps the lows from getting low enough to start doing something about it. It keeps the lows from getting too low but also keeps the highs from getting high enough. I'm left emotionally numb and it's a challenge to maintain motivation to make things better.

      Since embracing my inner female self, I'm slowly starting to be happier and more capable.
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    • June 13, 2014 6:18 PM BST
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      I understand full well where you speak from Madeleine - beyond highs and lows it becomes is one willing to ask and answer the questions that are inside. One thing I was always willing to do was ask and seek the answers to any and all questions external to me - but there were those nagging questions inside - many of which I knew the answers to - who am I and how do I really see myself, for example - that I carefully constructed walls to. I too, when that day came and the bubble burst as I refer to it often - allowed myself to finally say aloud - this is how I see myself, this is who I am, ( and most importantly ) - it's okay and I'm okay. It was at that moment, for the first time in all my life I finally felt balanced - I made it a point all my life to assume that being off center, off-balanced in terms of my feelings and center of self was okay and the right way to be. As well - I experienced a release through the whole of my being like I have never felt ever in all my life - metaphorically it was like a large cement weight lifted off of me as best as I can describe. I felt whole finally. With that balance, not only can I find the solutions but I see myself at the center of my being as the TG, the girl, I am. So, in that, I relate very well to your concluding line of embracing my inner female self, and I'm slowly starting to be happier and more capable. - Pleasant journey soul sister : )
    • June 24, 2014 4:23 PM BST
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      Tricky one, ladies.  Medically, "simple" depression is usually classified as endogenous, or exogenous.  The first suggests that the person's depression comes from something within, let's say, for example, gender dysphoria.  The other suggests that the depression is the result of some external factor such as poverty, unemployment, or (if I may go here - in our situation) real or perceived rejection by society, feelings of being ridiculed and misunderstood.

       

      This whole ball of wax really leads to the conclusion that anyone on the transgender spectrum is being hit twice (a double whammy, as some would say.)  This is one of the root causes of the higher than average incidence of suicidal ideation (and action) and psychological disturbance in the TG community.

       

      Medication can be a great help.  All antidepressants are NOT equal, and each individual reacts differently to each different medication, so therefore, it can take quite a while to find the right one for you.

       

      However, medication is not the only answer - it may be great at dealing with symptoms, but it does NOT deal with root causes.

       

      A combination of medication, together with good therapy is the best way forward. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help change the perceptions that lead us down some blind alleys.  It's not about understanding or analizing where we are.  It is practical, goal-oriented and designed to help us MOVE forward from where we are.  If you do suffer from depression, get the right meds, but more important - consider CBT.

       

    • July 9, 2014 6:47 PM BST
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      Thanks for your input ladies. This is a good thread, let's keep it going for anyone who may want to post here : )
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    • May 6, 2015 9:39 AM BST
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      I found out out that deep breathing and yoga exercises are very effective in reducing and getting rid of depression. If you're suffering from depression, anxiety, stress,  you must try these exercises. 

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