Author Topic: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...  (Read 5742 times)

Asmodean

  • The Grumpy Lumpy
  • Administrator
  • Luxembourg Trembles!
  • *****
  • Posts: 14660
  • The GrayGod
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2012, 02:32:30 PM »
A persistent chemical imbalance is...something for which there is no conclusive evidence. Nor any reason to suppose that if it did exist that either it would prove to be the sole cause of endogenous depression nor that the only way to treat it would be medication on a lifelong basis.
Fair enough, I suppose. But then, I'm not a medical professional.

As long as them pills work, however, why not eat them?
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

The Magic Pudding

  • The black swan of trespass
  • Blessing Her Holy Hooves
  • *****
  • Posts: 4913
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2012, 02:36:28 PM »
If, on the other hand, one is just generally down because of the weather, economy, love life and/or you-name-it, then happy pills may be too much.

Being down because of the weather is tied up with a chemical imbalance/deficiency, as Juliet is attempting to remedy with her vitamin D.  Ye I know you know everyone knows, just felt like saying it.

I haven't been seriously down for quite a while, haven't been weighing the pros or cons of the various outs for some years.  I seem to be able to stomp on anxiety before it takes grip.  Melancholy defined as thoughtful sadness seems a reasonable state to spend a chunk of my time in.  Happiness gurus are dangerous, floating in carefree bubbles is best left to dreams, then the sudden fall wakes, it doesn't break.  Ye, I'm doing OK.  Sadness, ah ye well I know people drown in it but if you can relax and float with it, things are more.  It makes the bouncy times bouncier.


En_Route

  • Pin-up boy of HAF
  • Has an Invisible Dragon in Their Garage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3143
  • Gender: Male
  • Similar but not identical
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 02:52:55 PM »
A persistent chemical imbalance is...something for which there is no conclusive evidence. Nor any reason to suppose that if it did exist that either it would prove to be the sole cause of endogenous depression nor that the only way to treat it would be medication on a lifelong basis.
Fair enough, I suppose. But then, I'm not a medical professional.

As long as them pills work, however, why not eat them?

Because they often don't work that well (or at all) or only for a while and in some cases have undesirable side-effects. They can help in giving a lift to seriously-depressed people and  thus allowing them to explore other means of regaining full mental health.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

Ali

  • Knows where her towel is.
  • Wears a Colander Hat for Special Occasions
  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Gender: Female
  • An Equal Opportunity Mr. Hyde
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 05:09:03 PM »
A persistent chemical imbalance is...something for which there is no conclusive evidence. Nor any reason to suppose that if it did exist that either it would prove to be the sole cause of endogenous depression nor that the only way to treat it would be medication on a lifelong basis.
Fair enough, I suppose. But then, I'm not a medical professional.

As long as them pills work, however, why not eat them?

Because they often don't work that well (or at all) or only for a while and in some cases have undesirable side-effects. They can help in giving a lift to seriously-depressed people and  thus allowing them to explore other means of regaining full mental health.

This is the big use I see with them.  I think that there are a lot of things that people can often do to improve their mental state (exercise, self care, talking to a counselor, spending time on hobbies, et cetera) but once you're in that hole, it feels next to impossible to begin those things.  That's what I meant by the Zoloft giving me space to work ion the other pieces of it.  When I was at my worst, it seems like there was no way to work up the energy to even start to do the sorts of things that would help me feel more healthy.  Zoloft didn't prevent me from feeling sad or angry, but it did give me enough of a respite to be able to get out of bed in the mornings and start putting myself back together.

Crow

  • Don't Pray in My School, and I Won't Think in Your Church
  • *****
  • Posts: 7530
  • Gender: Male
  • Retired 06/06/2016
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 05:33:46 PM »
I'm actually surprised at how common depression is (1 in 5 among older people in the UK) as people must do a very good job at hiding the fact that they are feeling in such a way. I have yet to feel depressed even with some rather nasty things that have happened to me but its a totally alien emotional state to me.

Here is an article on dealing with depression, I have no idea if any of it will help but it covers some areas that have been mentioned here, I sincerely hope that some of it might work for you. Dealing with Depression - Self-help and Coping Tips.
Retired member.

Siz

  • Professional arsehole!
  • Has an Invisible Dragon in Their Garage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3112
  • Gender: Male
  • Misanthropist and Master of the veiled snide
    • http://www.people.shite
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2012, 06:43:32 PM »
Do y'all think that there is any evolutionary advantage in depression? Would this not have been weeded out long ago? Or do you consider that it is an unfortunate bi-product of self awareness (like Dawkins' religious requirement conjecture)?

If it is a chemical imbalance, then why has it not been balanced by evolution? OR, what is causing that imbalance in todays lifestyles?
If it is a purely psychological affliction then this must surely also be socially acquired.

I, like Crow, have no experience of this debilitating affliction. There is no known history of this in my family (which might be a clue in itself) (psychotic WWII grandparents aside) - I guess I've been lucky to avoid the misery of shit-happening (and shit has certainly happened!) - or maybe I have a natural imunity - or maybe I'm just not that kind of personality - or maybe I'm not sufficiently in touch with my emotions for it to affect me.

I certainly don't claim to understand it in any way. I just thought the above might be worth exploring by any of you guys who know something about the subject. I shall be reading with interest.

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

DeterminedJuliet

  • The Stone Lady of HAF
  • Global Moderator
  • Blessing Her Holy Hooves
  • *****
  • Posts: 4396
  • Gender: Female
  • Don't Blink
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2012, 06:53:18 PM »
Do y'all think that there is any evolutionary advantage in depression? Would this not have been weeded out long ago? Or do you consider that it is an unfortunate bi-product of self awareness (like Dawkins' religious requirement conjecture)?

I remember reading recently that there appears to be a link between creativity and being bi-polar.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Ali

  • Knows where her towel is.
  • Wears a Colander Hat for Special Occasions
  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Gender: Female
  • An Equal Opportunity Mr. Hyde
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2012, 07:05:00 PM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

DeterminedJuliet

  • The Stone Lady of HAF
  • Global Moderator
  • Blessing Her Holy Hooves
  • *****
  • Posts: 4396
  • Gender: Female
  • Don't Blink
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2012, 10:17:16 PM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Ali

  • Knows where her towel is.
  • Wears a Colander Hat for Special Occasions
  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Gender: Female
  • An Equal Opportunity Mr. Hyde
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2012, 10:58:59 PM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 

En_Route

  • Pin-up boy of HAF
  • Has an Invisible Dragon in Their Garage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3143
  • Gender: Male
  • Similar but not identical
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2012, 12:03:35 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

Sandra Craft

  • Surprisingly OK
  • Global Moderator
  • The Cure for Boredom is Curiosity. There is No Cure For Curiosity.
  • *****
  • Posts: 9555
  • Gender: Female
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2012, 12:06:32 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.

How about "advantage" then?  What would be the evolutionary advantage of it.
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany

Ali

  • Knows where her towel is.
  • Wears a Colander Hat for Special Occasions
  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Gender: Female
  • An Equal Opportunity Mr. Hyde
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2012, 12:15:35 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.

How about "advantage" then?  What would be the evolutionary advantage of it.

Yes, or to put it another way, you would think that women pre-disposed to PPD would be less likely to pass that on, as their babies would have historically had more challenges to survival.  PPD can make it that much harder for women to care for their newborns, which in turn would have made it that much easier for their newborns to fail to thrive.  So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems PPD would be a disadvantage, rather than an advantage.  Better?

DeterminedJuliet

  • The Stone Lady of HAF
  • Global Moderator
  • Blessing Her Holy Hooves
  • *****
  • Posts: 4396
  • Gender: Female
  • Don't Blink
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2012, 12:17:48 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD.  

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve.  


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.

Yes, purpose was a poorly chosen word. "Function" would probably be better.  Edit: As Ali explained.

I don't think anyone who used it in this context meant it in a theistic "evolution is guided by the hand of God" kind of way.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 12:19:20 AM by DeterminedJuliet »
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Tristan Jay

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 98
Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2012, 12:19:04 AM »
Where I'm coming from, I'm a skeptic in the sense that I don't believe that God is good, or worthy of praise.  And of course I have depression.  And there are a few things I do to cope in life.

For starters, I'll drink other people's coffee.  It doesn't cost anything (generally) and you don't have to bother with making it.  Meow!

I swing dance.  This is something of a small miracle, given that I could just as easily allowed myself to sink into reclusion, afraid of social situations.  The swing dancing scene is fairly easy for me to cope with, once I got the hang of it; the rules of etiquette are pretty straightforward, and the people are nice (or secretly as damaged as I am).  It's good social practice, makes me feel more comfortable in social situations and consequently helps my confidence.  The actual dancing is aerobic in nature, so it doubles as exercise.

I remind myself to be grateful for opportunities to substitute teach; even though I'm not a fully accredited teacher I still find the work that I do get a chance to do very rewarding.

And yes the basic idea of focusing on the happiness of others brings it's own satisfaction; helping others through their difficulties is way more productive than moping about personal difficulties (I'm not above a well earned mope if circumstances get ridiculous tough, but I know that there's something to move on to eventually).