#1
I suffer from very acute depression and a myriad of other mental health problems and I'm wondering if any fellow guitarists can relate/offer support or suggestions.
It can be very hard for me to do what most people don't think twice about, simple tasks such as getting out of bed, eating etc...
Playing guitar at times can be a nightmare, and progress is at best tedious. I've been playing on and off for about 3 years and sometimes I am unable to play for weeks, months even because of my various issues.
I know many wonderful guitarists battled serious health issues, both physical and mental, and played their instruments to the best of their ability.
I'm not here trying to get sympathy, rather to see if anyone can relate and possibly offer any advice, preferably related to playing the guitar.
I'd appreciate it if no one replied telling me to take my pills or things of that nature.....
#3
I think you should focus on getting cured first, and then dedicating yourself to guitar. If you wanna do something, you gotta do it properly.
#4
We'd love to help you, but none of us are doctors. I'd say play when you can, but perhaps it's best to get advice from a pro who knows a little more than we.
#5
Quote by genghisgandhi
So you mean you're not too sad? You're just like most other people on the planet.


This.

My nan suffers from very acute depression and she looks like she's constantly on crack.
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#6
I was depressed for a few years.. then I got over it and became a cynical git.

My answer is to become a cynical git. It's like depression, but you feel self righteous for being so.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
Last edited by Silent Murder at Jul 6, 2011,
#7
Quote by genghisgandhi
So you mean you're not too sad? You're just like most other people on the planet.


Acute means severe.


Next, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and possible borderline personality disorder and guess what? After struggling through it for several years I decided to start ignoring the symptoms. To get up, I make myself take a shower. MAKE myself - and after I get out and get dressed, I put on clothes, socks, shoes then it is just easier to start doing something. I stop every thought of self pity by ironically mentally calling myself out on it. I deal with mood swings, and oddly enough playing guitar usually helps level me out. When guitar doesn't then I take a nap - can't avoid that sometimes. Borderline personality disorder just basically means my personality is a little quirky, and I look at it as a boon instead of an illness. You gotta make a stand against your own brain. Find tricks to help it. You know that it is chemicals in your brain messing with your emotions, so fight back.
#9
andddddd

.
Internet trolls are like sap in trees. sticky and annoying, but good on pancakes.
#11
Quote by genghisgandhi
But acute usually means small...


Don't know what to tell you...here is the definition per www.dictionary.com -

–adjective
1. sharp or severe in effect; intense: acute sorrow; an acute pain.
2. extremely great or serious; crucial; critical: an acute shortage of oil.
3. (of disease) brief and severe ( opposed to chronic).
#12
Quote by genghisgandhi
But acute usually means small...

But it ACTUALLY means severe. Think about it, an acute angle is quite severe.
#13
I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated major depression for a long time. I guess I kind of self-medicated by playing guitar. I can totally relate to losing my motivation. When I get in the middle of a depressive spell, motivation to keep playing goes away and stays gone for what feels like forever. What I've found is that by forcing myself to play and just improvising and pouring my life story onto seven steel strings, I can find some solace and sometimes even break from those damned circular thought patters. Other times, touching or even just seeing a guitar is enough to set off spells.

Quote by genghisgandhi
So you mean you're not too sad? You're just like most other people on the planet.

Depression isn't being sad all the time. Sadness is a side effect and a symptom, but more accurately, depression is losing the will to live. It isn't just teenage angst. Because I thought it was that and was ashamed of it, I went through over a year of depression and came close to suicide because of that misconception. More often than not, it's due to a chemical imbalance in the brain of some kind and is really a physical malady with emotional consequences.

But acute usually means small...

In medical jargon, acute indeed means small. However, it doesn't mean the severity of the disease, but rather, the rate of the onset. An acute disease or disorder hits you fast and hard, often with a brief duration, is mostly unpredictable, and can require urgent care. An acute disorder is like a team of Navy SEALS: it hits you when you don't expect it and it fvcks you up.
#14
I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated major depression for a long time. I guess I kind of self-medicated by playing guitar. I can totally relate to losing my motivation. When I get in the middle of a depressive spell, motivation to keep playing goes away and stays gone for what feels like forever. What I've found is that by forcing myself to play and just improvising and pouring my life story onto seven steel strings, I can find some solace and sometimes even break from those damned circular thought patters. Other times, touching or even just seeing a guitar is enough to set off spells.


Curing yourself by playing guitar seems to be nice...
#15
I have similar issues. Major depression, bipolar, severe ADHD, GAD, etc. I don't play guitar very often anymore because of it.

EDIT: The only way I've seen improvement in my symptoms is through drugs. For what it's worth.
i don't know why i feel so dry
Last edited by Eastwinn at Jul 6, 2011,
#16
They say that doing work with your hands sets off endorphins to make you feel better. Playing guitar just happens to fit in that category. I was suffering with panic attacks for a while, but I felt better after playing guitar. Luckily I don't get panic attacks anymore, so it's not a problem. Just play what feels right and if you don't feel like playing, you don't have to. Forcing yourself to do something won't make you feel less depressed.
#17
Quote by kratos379
They say that doing work with your hands sets off endorphins to make you feel better. Playing guitar just happens to fit in that category. I was suffering with panic attacks for a while, but I felt better after playing guitar. Luckily I don't get panic attacks anymore, so it's not a problem. Just play what feels right and if you don't feel like playing, you don't have to. Forcing yourself to do something won't make you feel less depressed.


I disagree with that last sentence. Not forcing yourself to do something lets you stay in the same funk you are in. Getting up and making yourself do something pumps endorphins into your system, is healthier, and helps to create a positive reaction to depression instead of prolonging it. Laying around makes you feel like you are lonely, nobody likes you, you are pathetic, etc. If you get up and shower and shave and get dressed, etc., then the battle is halfway won.
#18
Quote by katalyzt13
I disagree with that last sentence. Not forcing yourself to do something lets you stay in the same funk you are in. Getting up and making yourself do something pumps endorphins into your system, is healthier, and helps to create a positive reaction to depression instead of prolonging it. Laying around makes you feel like you are lonely, nobody likes you, you are pathetic, etc. If you get up and shower and shave and get dressed, etc., then the battle is halfway won.


What if your were more active because you felt better, not the other way around?
i don't know why i feel so dry
#20
You should probably try to find the root of the problem. So therapy would be the best option.
Quote by Sonicxlover
Kensai, I think I'll get a flamboyant sig.

Quote by Sonicxlover
Kensai, I think I'll get a flamboyant sig.

Quote by Sonicxlover
Kensai, I think I'll get a flamboyant sig.


Parker Nitefly Mojo sonnn
Jackson DK2M Dinky
Carvin Legacy
Fender Blues Jr.
Roland Cube 30X
#21
I have depression and taking meds for it. I play guitar because it makes me happy.
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#22
Quote by Silent Murder
I was depressed for a few years.. then I got over it and became a cynical git.

My answer is to become a cynical git. It's like depression, but you feel self righteous for being so.



This.

I have type 2 bipolar, and the hypomania swings really get in the way of everything. Especially things that involve concentration or social skills. Just find types of music to play/listen to that suit your mood at the time. Right now I feel like I'm swinging back up again, and am quite mellow...listening to some dubstep. When I'm down I listen to/play a lot of metal/rock and music that releases that kind of tension. When I'm happier it's a lot more indie/drum&bass/electronic music, even some pop.
#23
Thanks for the serious replies. It's somewhat comforting to know there's fellow guitarists dealing with the same issues.
#24
Right. You're not alone.

I know my limits and once you know yours there's no need to pull your hair out.

I'll never be a rock star but I can pretend to be one. That's where the fun is.
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#25
I don't know what it's got to do with playing guitar, but plenty of people on here and plenty of big time musicians have mental health problems.
#26
Hey, I'm pretty sure you're not the only person that has to go thru things like this. Like others have posted and said there are other people like you to. I went thru a period of about 7 years where I was very depressed often so I know what you're going thru. I personally find that keeping myself busy and/or keeping something in mind that you can work at regularly helps with bouts of depression. I personally never took meds or sought therapy or even advice (rarely did I admit it to anyone). I found solace in self therapy just meditating with the little knowledge I had of meditation. Listening to music as often as I could (literally all the time), working out to keep in shape (keeps you busy and tired so you sleep soundly), and finally playing guitar really helped me to. I would suggest finding something you like to do, such as playing guitar, and getting good at it. Accomplishment is much more than a milestone when your depressed, it helps a lot.

If you want to ask me anything more just go to my profile.
Quote by Fishyesque
Well, you might make her think otherwise.

You could just show her that you have a PS3 and BANG.

Heterosexual.


Quote by metal4all
A chainsaw can take a girl off her feet pretty nicely. Then there are less limbs to worry about while you rape her.
#27
Quote by BlueAltitudes
If you want to ask me anything more just go to my profile.

Yeah I bet someone self diagnosed who accepted no help, no experience of therapy, drugs or anything useful would definitely be the person to get advice from

Seriously what would you say? Sit there and hope you get better?
#28
I've always thought of playing guitar as something peaceful, emotional, almost healing. It helps me get through things. Gives me an outlet for my feelings.

Just think how fucked up some people might be if they didn't have a guitar to play.
#29
Quote by smb
Yeah I bet someone self diagnosed who accepted no help, no experience of therapy, drugs or anything useful would definitely be the person to get advice from

Seriously what would you say? Sit there and hope you get better?


Lol, I can't believe you took the time to type that. It is funny that I simply offered additional advice that I could have forgotten in the quick reply and you snap at me with a dull, misguided retort, with assumptions galore, despite a veil of anonymity you and I. I digress, to be more concise, you don't know me. Good day and learn to have some tact.

C'est le vie...
Quote by Fishyesque
Well, you might make her think otherwise.

You could just show her that you have a PS3 and BANG.

Heterosexual.


Quote by metal4all
A chainsaw can take a girl off her feet pretty nicely. Then there are less limbs to worry about while you rape her.
Last edited by BlueAltitudes at Jul 7, 2011,
#31
Quote by Don_Humpador
I've always thought of playing guitar as something peaceful, emotional, almost healing. It helps me get through things. Gives me an outlet for my feelings.

Just think how fucked up some people might be if they didn't have a guitar to play.


I'm sure there's other instruments to be had like I have a keyboard too. They're quite fun as well as a trombone, flute, etc even drums.
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#33
Sorry to hear that TS, and yes I can relate pretty well. I've had a mental disorder that affects emotions for a while now, and it just ****s everything up on an hourly basis.

Hope you get through it all though
#34
just grab the guitar and play it disregard what sound it makes, it's better then holding the pain inside. i know what's that about, i have to play every single day.
#35
If guitar doesn't have a positive effect on your mental state, then why play it? I would rarely counsel anyone to give up guitar, but I play because it makes me happy. And that's the primary reason ANYONE should EVER play guitar. If it doesn't do that for you, I see no point in continuing. You shouldn't do things for the sake of.
#36
I doubt there's anyone who doesn't enjoy a guitar or any other instrument as a matter of fact.

Music sooth souls. Doesn't have to be a song but a wonderful sound from an instrument. I do that sometimes. Find a note that's a tone of the day and pick around on it.

Your mood changes, so does the tone.
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#37
I have been diagnosed with Ultradian Cycling bipolar disorder, and find guitar can sometimes help me with my manic episodes, if things get to severe though I usually end up punching my guitar out of frustraion/anger and the fact the guitar wont do what I want it too, and the depreesion, is the most difficult I find, if you are getting proper treatment for your depression, then things might eventually improve for you, and actually become do-able, the will returns
#38
I think most of the great musicians out there with mental illnesses are playing music because it makes them feel undepressed (is that a word ? ). So if want to play music, I suggest you find the joy in playing. It may also have a side effect of actually curing you ... who knows?