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Saturday, December 22, 2012

First Coast News: Ryan Freel, former MLB player from Jacksonville, commits suicide

Tragic news this cheery weekend. RIP.

First Coast News sports director Dan Hicken has learned that Ryan Freel, a Jacksonville native and former Major League Baseball has died at the age of 36.  The cause of death is suicide.

Freel played baseball at Sandalwood and Englewood High School.  He played for five different MLB teams from 2001-2009.  He is most known for his six-year tenure with the Cincinnati Reds.

His career batting average was .268 he stole 143 bases in his career.

Since his retirement from professional baseball in 2009, Freel was a part of an organization on the First Coast called BLD Baseball which stands for Big League Development.  Through this organization, Freel coached local youth baseball players.

 

AndrewJ Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, cubs, obituaries, orioles, reds, royals

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   1. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4331223)
FIRST!
   2. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4331224)
Who's going to take care of Farney now?
   3. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4331228)
Awful news. This hasn't reached the level of NFL suicides, but we've now heard about Freel, Mike Flanagan, and Hideki Irabu over the past two years.
   4. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4331230)
If you needed SB, he was tremendously valuable due to his eligibility at SS, 2B, and OF.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4331235)
I seem to recall that he had an issue with alcohol; apologies if I have the wrong guy. That would make this a little less surprising than if it occurred to (insert squeaky-clean rep player), but of course, still absolutely horrible. RIP.
   6. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4331240)
Just very sad. I also remember Freel had an issue with alcohol (maybe a DUI?).

This hasn't reached the level of NFL suicides, but we've now heard about Freel, Mike Flanagan, and Hideki Irabu over the past two years.


It hasn't reach the NFL level and if I had to guess the suicide rate among MLB players (both present and past) is among the lowest of any profession.
   7. Lassus Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4331246)
If you had asked "Ryan Freel, retired or no?" I'm sure I would have said no, thinking he was a bench player on some team I hadn't been paying attention to.
   8. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4331256)
Upon first reading the headline I thought it was David Freese.

Edit for wrong name!?!
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4331263)
Terrible news. RIP and condolences to the Freel family. On the NFL connection, supposedly Freel had several concussions during his career, including a really serious one in 2007.
   10. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4331266)
Very sad. A lot of athletes get depressed when their playing days are over because they feel that they have lost their identity, meaning, and importance.
   11. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4331274)
Terrible news. Freel was a decent enough player if never a star.

Depression continues to be the sort of thing that I wish we could just do without as humans.
   12. Boxkutter Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4331283)
This one hits home. Although not a Reds fan, I was a fan of Freel and tried a couple times (unsuccessfully) to trade for him in my DMB league. He was the kind of player you enjoyed rooting for.
   13. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4331291)
How sad. Depression is awful. According to wikipedia he was arrested twice for DUI, so alcoholism is also a possibility. The combination is really really awful. I hate stories like this.
   14. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4331310)
I was horrified to find this out. God....

RIP. Awful, awful news.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4331317)

Just very sad. I also remember Freel had an issue with alcohol (maybe a DUI?).


Yea, but I seem to recall him being a big party animal, not necessarily someone that was drinking alone in a hotel room. I know those are stereotypes and he very well may have been drinking to mask some pain. Really sucks though. In his prime, I thought he was a useful little player who could get on base a little, steal bases, and add some positional versatility. Great NL bench guy.
   16. hokieneer Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4331318)
I've been a reds fan for 23 years, and freel would have been on my short list of favorite players. The way he played the game, the energy and hustle he brought to the park everyday was reminiscent of a 10 year old playing little league. While not a star, it was always a good game to watch when ryan made into the starting 9. He gave us fans our money's worth.

So sad.
   17. Bull Pain Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4331322)
So very sad. I knew Freel when he was in the minors before he caught on in the bigs. He had serious issues that were glossed over and likely enabled by the soulless parent club. At one time in history, I sponsored his BB-Ref page with the line, "It's fun to be a little crazy." I couldn't have been more wrong.

   18. Gamingboy Posted: December 23, 2012 at 05:59 AM (#4331353)
Jeez. Damn tragedy for a life to be extinguished so young. Thoughts with his family and friends.
   19. dejarouehg Posted: December 23, 2012 at 06:50 AM (#4331355)
Freel was an incredible defensive player. On my stadium tour in September 2003, (either 9/23 or 24,) was sitting in LCF bleachers when a Cubs player hit a shot to CF. Freel, who I'd never heard of at that point, made the best play I'd ever seen. He just outran the ball to make a diving catch laying out straight towards the CF fence.

Kept an eye on him after that. Saw him on many highlights throughout career. Very sad.
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 23, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4331374)
This is awful. Can't imagine what his friends and family are going through today. RIP
   21. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4331416)
RIP to very good bench player, the easy to root for kind.
   22. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4331421)
I was as this game, where Freel made a diving catch of a Pujols drive to the gap. There were 40,000 people in the park, and all of them except me went bonkers. Some players seem to have a connection with fans, and I think Freel was one of them.
   23. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4331443)
Re: 2 - farney was freel's imaginary friend. really.
Always liked watching that guy play, though the duis and a little too high energy-ness gave me pause. RIP, Ryan...
   24. Tim D Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4331505)
The kind of player fans connect to because he was a scrapper who got the most out of ordinary talent. Really crappy news. Dealing with personal demons (I've been to the edge of the abyss) is a real #####. There should be no judgment; it really can happen to anyone. Sorry to see you go Ryan. Prayers for you and your loved ones.
   25. Red Menace Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4331514)
The Reds had a Ryan Freel "dirty" shirt giveaway in 2007. It was a really cool tribute to a fun player.
http://gameops.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/dirty_shirt.jpg
   26. base ball chick Posted: December 23, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4331547)
he had a really good glove. i remember him very well and am surprised to find out that he wasn't a utility player on some DH team. didn't know he was OOB

poor guy, looks like he had some kind of bipolar or some kind of mental illness and an alcohol problem. probably wasn't treated. and he had that serious head trauma too.

it won't get real too much attention because who cares if the mentally ill kill themselves? it's when they kill others that it gets attention and then it's all about the guns. instead of the non-treatment of the ill...
   27. jayjay Posted: December 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4331576)
It's a lot harder to kill 26 children/teachers without guns, especially semiautomatic assault rifles. Obviously mental health issues need to be discussed in that debate, but base ball chick, let's not turn this thread about Ryan Freel into an argument about Connecticut wrongly being "all about the guns"
   28. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 23, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4331583)
If you had asked "Ryan Freel, retired or no?" I'm sure I would have said no, thinking he was a bench player on some team I hadn't been paying attention to.


I caught the end of the story and saw "Freel played 9 years..." on the crawl under an MLB network show and thought he was retiring earlier than he had to. I rewound it, expecting he was retiring because he'd finished medical school or something like that.
   29. Tim D Posted: December 23, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4331587)
Yeah, he couldn't have done it with two 16 round clips in 9mm Glocks. He had to have a .22 rifle that Connecticut law doesn't even classify as an assault weapon. Please. Base ball chick is right, the thing that consistently gets overlooked in these tragedies, and in the tragedies of the poor Ryan Freels, is that modern drug therapies treat depression and bipolar disease astonishingly well. And these diseases are chemical, not emotional. They are not evidence of any personal failing and should not cause any social stigma. But they do, and the stigma and the social awkwardness that accompanies it keeps people from getting treatment. And the lack of treatment leads to terrible endings. And of course, uncontrolled guns can make those ends much worse. But I agree wholeheartedly that identification and treatment almost never get talked about in these stories, and they are extremely critical issues.
   30. PerroX Posted: December 23, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4331603)
Mental illness will always be difficult to treat because the person ultimately responsible is the one who is ill, and the illness directly affects judgement. Even so, I question 'astonishingly well'. The side effects are not insignificant, and the actually chemical efficacy questionable as well. The greatest importance may be one's social support networrk, and depression works against a person there as well -- it's an isolating disease, even removing all stigma from the equation.

   31. Tim D Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4331723)
Well the drugs do work wonders. And the fact that it is difficult to reach the right people because they are introverted, isolated, awkard, scared, etc is all the more reason to talk about it, not less of a reason. The biggest topic for discussion here is what happened to Adam Lanza? What happened to Ryan Freel? Not what guns should or should not be allowed, what magazines, cops in all schools (lunacy) and all of the political posturing over gun control.
   32. depletion Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4331727)
My condolences to the Freel family and Ryan's friends. He gave great enjoyment to millions of baseball fans.
   33. Tim D Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4331729)
Well the drugs do work wonders. And the fact that it is difficult to reach the right people because they are introverted, isolated, awkard, scared, etc is all the more reason to talk about it, not less of a reason. The biggest topic for discussion here is what happened to Adam Lanza? What happened to Ryan Freel? Not what guns should or should not be allowed, what magazines, cops in all schools (lunacy) and all of the political posturing over gun control.
   34. depletion Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4331733)
Anti-depressants work well for about 80% of cases. There are a lot of people in the other 20%. I think it would be most respectful toward Ryan Freel to discuss Ryan's life and career here, and less so other recent events.
   35. GregD Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4331750)
There should be more attention to mental illness. It's not easy, however. Andrew Solomon's NYT piece says that psychiatrists given case files of suicides to review only diagnose 20% of them as likely being depressed. The warning signs aren't always so coherent until there's some kind of sad event. A woman at my father's hospital--a mother of 3--killed herself this week and she works around doctors all day and was widely liked and admired, and none of them had a freaking clue, including the psychiatrists.
   36. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4331755)
There's also the apparent fact that people with bipolar are more likely to attempt suicide when they're on the upswing, rather than sunk in depression. It's even more complicated than it appears to be at first or even second (or third, or ...) glance.
   37. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4331765)
Guns or magazines didn't kill anyone in Conneticut. Two things killed people there: an insane man, and stupid anti-gun laws that assured the killer that everyone at that school would be unarmed and therefore easy prey.

Not allowing holders of concealed carry permits to carry at schools makes schools into target zones full of clay pigeons for nut jobs.

And no amount of gun control will stop or even slow down criminals or nut jobs. Gun control only disarms the sane and honest, who don't want or need any of it. And FYI, the single deadliest weapon for close combat work is the shotgun, not a semi-automatic rifle. And for everyone's edification, an assault weapon is a fully-automatic weapon, not a semi-automatic one. Only ignorant gun control whack jobs think otherwise.
   38. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4331768)
take the guns to the political thread.
   39. Tim D Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4331771)
I agree with 34, move the Newtown/gun discusson to another thread.
   40. theboyqueen Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4331779)
Where are you guys getting your information about anti-depressants from? The best studies show them working at all about 30 to 40 percent of the time (compared to 20 to 30 percent for placebo). In severe depression the numbers are even worse. The drugs, while helpful, most certainly do not work wonders.
   41. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4331781)
Anti-depressants work well for about 80% of cases. There are a lot of people in the other 20%.


I bet they're not even that good. And even if anti-depressants do work in the chemical or mechanical, as it were, sense, if they alter or transform the patient's identity then what good are they? I mean, I'm sure there are suffering people who would welcome that sort of fundamental change, but for me personally -- no thanks.
   42. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4331801)
The teaser pic for this story on Yahoo shows Freel during his brief stint as a Cub. At a glance, the uniform, along with his face in that picture and his first name, briefly had me thinking Ryan Dempster was dead.
   43. base ball chick Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4331805)
jonk

it's not hard to kill a whole lot of people with poison or bombs - who needs guns? and with whatshisname football player guy who killed his wife then himself, would we all be so much happier if he had strangled her then hanged himself? seeing as how it would have been gun-free?

my point is simple - freel had some kind of mental illness even BEFORE a history of repeat head trauma and if he ever DID get treatment, it wasn't real too successful. the suicide rate (successful) of people with untreated mental illness is something like 30 - 40 times greater than people who do not have mental illness/end stage diseases and pain. (and even with the people who want to commit suicide because of their end stage disease - if you treat the depression, you reduce the suicide risk significantly).

AND

that basically nobody cares about ryan freel because he's some nobody ex-baseball player (unlike Famous And Important Football Player junior seau) and he didn't take anyone with him. people only really get significantly excited when the deaths happen with guns. it shouldn't be the weapon that creates all the talktalk. it SHOULD be that
1 - the mental condition wasn't treated
2 - people are dead - and it wouldn't be near as exciting, would it, if mass murderers/suicides used poison instead of guns, now would it? which is beyond disgusting.

and sure there are side effects of ANY medicine. but you have to look at side effects of medicine vs side effects of untreated schizophrenia/depression/bipolar.
   44. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:59 AM (#4331825)
people only really get significantly excited when the deaths happen with guns. it shouldn't be the weapon that creates all the talktalk. it SHOULD be that
1 - the mental condition wasn't treated
2 - people are dead -


Amen to that, Lisa. I've been yakking on the politics thread because I saw a lot of illiberal stuff that offended me, but I wish the national conversation after Newtown would concentrate on better mental health services than omggunsgunsgunsomg.

I've never seen a mental health professional in my adult life until early last month (this is where everyone should point and laugh and snark). I walked in for a "crisis appointment" and saw a therapist who I have since seen a couple times but I'll have to wait til the middle of freaking January to actually see a doctor. I have no insurance and haven't been able to work since September. Fortunately I have a bit of money saved but I wonder and worry about others who don't -- and while the clinic has a sliding scale for uninsured people even with that the fee is probably close to impossible for a lot of people in this area (untermensch slowly destroyed in such fashion is no doubt a small but still precious consolation to social darwinist libertarians who have been deprived of their former joy of watching the poor starve to death). To be fair the people I have dealt with so far seem perfectly nice, but Jebus. And what's with the drug pushing? I was adamant that I would refuse any anxiolytic or anti-depressant, and that if they made my treatment conditional to taking such drugs I would cancel everything full stop. It blew my therapist's mind and I have reason to think I'm the only patient at this admittedly small clinic who has ever refused drugs.
   45. jayjay Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:45 AM (#4331830)
If it was so easy to kill students and moviegoers and shoppers with poison and bombs, how come we only see it happening with guns? In 2011 - the latest year for which detailed statistics are available - there were 12,664 murders in the U.S. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms.

I think the gun violence debate — and Ryan Freel's thread isn't the place for it — certainly must include both a rational discussion of gun laws and a rational discussion of mental health. The fact that some of you seem to feel that it's not a multifaceted problem, that nothing should be done on the gun side of things, that's really sad.

To get things back on track since folks have somehow turned this into their own political debate: Ryan Freel's Highlight Reel
   46. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:52 AM (#4331832)
I dont even remember he was a cub. what year was that? also I didnt know he was out of baseball
   47. jayjay Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:02 AM (#4331833)
Where is this "politics thread" that a couple of you have mentioned? I just clicked on Forums atop this page and the Politics & Current Events board there hasn't seen an activity since last March.
   48. Swedish Chef Posted: December 24, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4331838)
Where is this "politics thread" that a couple of you have mentioned? I just clicked on Forums atop this page and the Politics & Current Events board there hasn't seen an activity since last March.

It's the huge one called "OTP December 2012: etc etc", and it should be easily spotted on Hot Topics.
   49. squatoh Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4331864)
This is sad news. Condolences to his family and friends, and I hope he rests in peace.

Alcoholism, depression and anxiety tend to work together. I think the feeling is that some alcoholics start out self-medicating, but with alcohol being a central nervous system depressant it simply adds fuel to the fire. Chronic alcohol abuse is going to cause an increase in anxiety. The sad truth is that a lot of alcoholics commit suicide, including those that stop drinking. Those that can't lick the obsession with alcohol and find themselves wrestling with an overwhelming desire to drink are at greatest risk.

Royalsretro, this comment

Yea, but I seem to recall him being a big party animal, not necessarily someone that was drinking alone in a hotel room. I know those are stereotypes and he very well may have been drinking to mask some pain.


shows little understanding of the nature of alcoholism. Where, how and why someone drinks is neither here nor there. Alcoholism is being unable to stop drinking after the first drink, and being incapable of skipping the first one. It's about drinking despite knowing that one is damaging one's self, one's loved ones, and others around you and not being able to stop. It's about being powerless against alcohol, in the sense of having no control or defense.

If you're not an alcoholic I think it's a very hard thing to understand. Everyone wants to ascribe a reason for why someone is one, including the alcoholic. They're in pain, they're depressed, etc. I find that more often than not there is no reason, and most alcoholics that I know will subscribe to this theory. It's simply something you are, like you're right handed or tall. It's like being helplessly in love with a beautiful, crazy person who you know will wreck your life but who you have an all-consuming passion for.

Fortunately, help is there for those who want it.
   50. Flynn Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4331865)
Speaking of baseball alcoholics, Dennis Eckersley was a guy who liked to hit the bars and be merry. He was a happy drunk, so people kept inviting him to drink and join the party. I don't think he drank alone very often, if at all. It was only when he watched a home movie of himself being drunk at Christmas that he realized he got drunk at virtually every social occasion and that was a problem.
   51. base ball chick Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4331937)
jonk

because here in the USA, gun mass murders generate more media/hysteria for the murderer than bombs (except for timothy mcveigh, who i don't think was particularly interested in killing children). which is the point.

i really don't think that people who want "gun control" really have ANY idea how many guns there really are because the black market does some serious business and a whole lot of people have unregistered guns and an incredible amount of ammunition. i think that trying to locate and confiscate everyone's guns is gonna be a lot more difficult than people think. i also think that too many people actually think that if every gun suddenly vanished from this country that there wouldn't be any more murders/suicides. or that the rate would go waywayway down. not sure exactly why. people have unfortunately always found it too easy to kill other people with anything available. and you have the same population with the same mindset about killing. take a look at popular video games. watch any non-comedy tv. check out ALL the killing. killing SELLS because people LIKE it - like watching it, fantasizing about it, pretend doing it. and killings, especially GUN killings, get great media clicks - you think THEY want an end to murder/gun violence?

   52. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4331939)
I dont even remember he was a cub. what year was that? also I didnt know he was out of baseball


2009. His stint with the team was incredibly brief. I recall him being pretty lousy in just about all respects of the game during that time.
   53. base ball chick Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4331941)
retardo

hope things get better. you didn't have much of a wait - you wouldn't believe the length of time for a MHMR visit (mental health clinic for the poor/uninsured) here. it's MONTHS. very few private psychiatrists take medicaid. (and best i know, there aren't any private child psychiatrists here in harris county who do)

i would guess that most males who first go for any sort of help do NOT want any sort of medication, unless it is a - afraid of jail/prison sort of thing. there are all KINDS of medicine just like there are all KINDS of people and some work better for some than others and you have to work until you find what fits.

theres a lot of relapses off medicine once males feel better because them it is all the - hey i'm a MANN i don't need this shtt i'm fine now. i know Youse People.

alcoholism and other mental health problems are a ##### to treat because the alcohol is the solution AND the problem. and the person has to find other less destructive coping solutions and that is a problem right there. you have to unlearn a lifetime of harmful thoughts/behaviours
   54. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4332004)
Perhaps those firefighters in Webster, New York should have been armed and strafed a few rounds around the neighborhood before rushing so hastily out of their truck to attend to the house inferno that seems to have distracted them.

Or maybe these killers would simply have poisoned the firefighters if they had no access to guns?
   55. jayjay Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4332027)
baseball chick,
People watch those same TV shows and movies and video games in other first-world countries and they are not murdering each other at nearly the same rate.
You sound like it's such a great task, so complicated, that we might as well not even try. If there is even just one step we can take to save another child or parent or town from the grief that has visited Newtown, Oak Creek, Aurora, Tucson, Blackburg and Columbine, then we surely have an obligation to try.

And a note to the NRA: it would make more sense to put a teacher in every gun shop than it would more guns in every school.
   56. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4332029)
Perhaps a sniper on every fire truck would do the trick.
   57. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: December 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4332030)
I've had multiple suicides in my family. I've learned to pay attention to people when they are in need of help. Please pay attention to your loved ones and friends when they are down in the dumps.
   58. fra paolo Posted: December 24, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4332034)
When I played in a DMB league, I picked up Ryan Freel in a redistribution draft, and he rapidly became one of my favourite players. I kept him around for quite a while.

Thanks, Mr Freel, and RIP.
   59. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4332047)
hope things get better. you didn't have much of a wait - you wouldn't believe the length of time for a MHMR visit (mental health clinic for the poor/uninsured) here. it's MONTHS. very few private psychiatrists take medicaid. (and best i know, there aren't any private child psychiatrists here in harris county who do)


Thank you. I should have guessed things would be worse in an urban area, especially in Texas, but I had no personal frame of reference.

there are all KINDS of medicine just like there are all KINDS of people and some work better for some than others and you have to work until you find what fits.


God knows I'm not afraid of drugs per se. I've experimented with everything but nothing works. I know most anti-depressants have to be taken over a period of weeks to gauge their effectiveness, and I admit I haven't done that but a)I've found the immediate side-effects are too disturbing to continue the experiment and b)I have personally seen the withdrawal symptoms in others and they terrify me.

hey i'm a MANN i don't need this shtt i'm fine now. i know Youse People.


That's true. I've probably been messed-up for 25 years but I've always lived with it and accepted it, a functional eccentric. I only forced myself to seek treatment lately because it got to the point that I couldn't do my job or answer the door or go get groceries.

   60. PerroX Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4332058)
Ryan Freel reportedly killed himself with a shotgun.

Dunno, I'm past the point of wanting to argue with people about guns or mental illness, but...

You stop manufacturing guns, especially manufacturing the ammo, that would be a start. But I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a country in love with violence as the first solution to conflict to stop making guns. We are in love with death.

Kinda leads right to mental illness -- it's not as simple as something that happens inside your brain, or merely inherent in our biology. Always a cross between nature and environment. Our way of life itself is making us chronically ill in so many ways.

I've had issues with depression as long as I can remember. Unless it is completely debilitating, I would suggest alternatives to drug treatment first -- more sunlight in the winter, through the use of lamps as necessary, a healthy diet and regular exercise. And perhaps most importantly, but most difficult, building a social network of support. Create positive feedback mechanisms for yourself.

But whatever gets you through the night.
   61. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4332100)
Ryan Freel reportedly killed himself with a shotgun.


Ugh. *sigh*

As it happens, I learned just a few hours ago that a very good friend of my former gf's killed a guy 10 days ago with a borrowed shotgun in her mother's doorway. Drugs & theft (on her part) were, of course, involved.

Jesus.
   62. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4332103)
I know most anti-depressants have to be taken over a period of weeks to gauge their effectiveness, and I admit I haven't done that but a)I've found the immediate side-effects are too disturbing to continue the experiment and b)I have personally seen the withdrawal symptoms in others and they terrify me.


Hard to say. Maybe I've been lucky (except for the time the doctor in North Little Rock apparently didn't believe me or practiced selective hearing when I told him I had good reason, family history included, to think I had bipolar tendencies .... so shortly after he prescribed me straight Prozac I was almost literally climbing the walls & wound up laying the foundation for my dismissal about 3 months later as an editor at the daily paper ... but I digress), or maybe my dosages are just too low (compared to some people, I basically take an M&M a day, it seems like) to make any huge difference, but I haven't run into any particular problems.

Obviously, people's mileages vary greatly.
   63. depletion Posted: December 24, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4332119)
And what's with the drug pushing? I was adamant that I would refuse any anxiolytic or anti-depressant, and that if they made my treatment conditional to taking such drugs I would cancel everything full stop. It blew my therapist's mind and I have reason to think I'm the only patient at this admittedly small clinic who has ever refused drugs.


Cap'n Swing: quite often the first move is to toss a bottle of pills to you, after listening to 15 minutes of your story. Kind of sad, but that's the trend. The first move is designed to reduce the number of people that die in their care, probably. Don't feel bad about having several (or as many as you're comfortable with) sessions of talk before (if at all)taking the plunge with drugs. The drugs do help a lot of people. Sometimes it's temporary help, and sometimes that and therapy is all that's needed and the illness does get defeated. The SSRI (prozac and others) are "uppers" to some extent - they can be "speed"-like and make it difficult to sleep. There is an enzyme anti-jetlag pill that's over-the-counter (forget the name, I actually have some and have used this) that one can use to help sleep. Or the doc you see can prescribe Ambien or a similar (HABIT FORMING) sleep aid. Oh well. No one's perfect. Best of luck .

Regards,
Tim
   64. base ball chick Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4332143)
retardo

we all "eccentric" around here. it's the 1 thing besides baseball we all got in common.

if you have experimented with shtt, it might could be the dose. some of the meds you have to start out with tiny doses. or maybe you need something slightly different. but thing is you need to get the right med for the right diagnosis - IF you are gonna take any meds. youneverknow - if 48th rounders can turn into ML regulars, then maybe you can find the right med to help you. there IS a way out of darkness. it's the going to the door and opening it that is the hard part.

make sure you eat food that is good for you and not just junk/sugar. make sure you got enough vit D. make the doctor check your vit D and hormones. low vit D they have found out is common and found a lot in depression. get some of those full spectrum lights for inside your place and keep the lights on at least 12 hours a day. all of us got a terrible time with not enough daylight once DST changes and the full spectrum lights really help a lot.

merry christmas!!!!

don't give up. and there's lots and LOTS of therapists and sometimes you have to look before you find one that is right for you

   65. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 02:01 AM (#4332159)
it won't get real too much attention because who cares if the mentally ill kill themselves? it's when they kill others that it gets attention and then it's all about the guns. instead of the non-treatment of the ill...


This is foolish. There's been a lot of discussion of the treatment of depression and mental health lately as a result of the shootings in Newtown.

Say, aren't you someone who occasionally pops into the political threads to tell us how silly we are to be starting so many arguments?

Mental illness will always be difficult to treat because the person ultimately responsible is the one who is ill, and the illness directly affects judgement. Even so, I question 'astonishingly well'...


Yup. It was a bizarre statement. Even drug companies don't make claims that extravagant.

The claim antidepressants help 75%-80% of those that take them is also founded on error.

From Newsweek, by way of The Daily Beast:


The Depressing News About Antidepressants
Jan 28, 2010

Studies suggest that the popular drugs are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, they may be worse.


Although the year is young, it has already brought my first moral dilemma. In early January a friend mentioned that his New Year's resolution was to beat his chronic depression once and for all. Over the years he had tried a medicine chest's worth of antidepressants, but none had really helped in any enduring way, and when the side effects became so unpleasant that he stopped taking them, the withdrawal symptoms (cramps, dizziness, headaches) were torture. Did I know of any research that might help him decide whether a new antidepressant his doctor recommended might finally lift his chronic darkness at noon?

The moral dilemma was this: oh, yes, I knew of 20-plus years of research on antidepressants, from the old tricyclics to the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that target serotonin (Zoloft, Paxil, and the granddaddy of them all, Prozac, as well as their generic descendants) to even newer ones that also target norepinephrine (Effexor, Wellbutrin).

The research had shown that antidepressants help about three quarters of people with depression who take them, a consistent finding that serves as the basis for the oft-repeated mantra "There is no question that the safety and efficacy of antidepressants rest on solid scientific evidence," as psychiatry professor Richard Friedman of Weill Cornell Medical College recently wrote in The New York Times.

But ever since a seminal study in 1998, whose findings were reinforced by landmark research in The Journal of the American Medical Association last month, that evidence has come with a big asterisk. Yes, the drugs are effective, in that they lift depression in most patients.

But that benefit is hardly more than what patients get when they, unknowingly and as part of a study, take a dummy pill—a placebo. As more and more scientists who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding, that suggests that antidepressants are basically expensive Tic Tacs.


If they truly help someone, that's great. But the idea that they're terrifically helpful for the vast majority who take them is not only misleading, but dangerous.
   66. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:27 AM (#4332170)
I'm a fourth year medical student who should, God willing, be starting a residency in psychiatry in about 6 months so this has been an interesting thread for me to read. Here are some thoughts/things I've learned.

1) Anti-depressants are not magic pills. The metaphor I've seen some of the psychiatrists I've worked with use is that a person who is depressed is like a visually impaired person sitting at the back of the class and antidepressant medications are like glasses. They won't make you learn the stuff that's on the blackboard but they will help you see what's on the board. Whether you learn it or not depends on what the individual does after putting on those glasses. This is especially true for mild depression. Things like exercise, eating right, getting enough sleep and therapy are very important and may in fact be better options than antidepressants for some people. There's better evidence for the effectiveness of antidepressants in severe depression.

2) With respect to antidepressants, it can be difficult to prescribe them. It usually takes a few weeks, and can take as long as 6 weeks for a drug to have an effect. And for some people, they might not respond to one member of a class of drugs and might respond to another from the same class despite the fact that they are fundamentally the same. The same thing goes for side effects.

3) Unfortunately, and this happens in most fields of medicine, but a sad truth is that it is often more lucrative to be a bad doctor than it is to be a good doctor. When you are being paid on a per patient basis, some doctors don't spend the necessary time to do the job right. This is especially bad when a psychiatrist does this.

4) A very underrated treatment for severe depression is ECT. There's unfortunately a stigma associated with it among the layperson but it's been shown to be a better treatment than antidepressants.

5) A psychiatrist needs to know what substances their patients are using because mood disorders can be secondary to substances and general medical conditions. It's not a bad idea for a person with any psychiatric illness to have a complete physical.

6) There's a lot more evidence for the effectiveness of the medications that are used for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

God knows I'm not afraid of drugs per se. I've experimented with everything but nothing works. I know most anti-depressants have to be taken over a period of weeks to gauge their effectiveness, and I admit I haven't done that but a)I've found the immediate side-effects are too disturbing to continue the experiment and b)I have personally seen the withdrawal symptoms in others and they terrify me.

I am glad that you are getting help and I hope that you can overcome whatever it is that you are suffering from without medications. I don't know what medications you've tried but there are drugs with better side effect profiles than a decade or two ago and the withdrawal symptoms should not be overwhelming if they are tapered correctly by a medical professional. Unfortunately, some people just stop taking their medications on their own and that can lead to bad things.

I hope I've added something with what little knowledge I have.

An excellent resource for information about psychiatric medications if the Prescriber's Guide by Stahl. It's a must have for any psychiatrist and is a pretty easy read.
   67. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 25, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4332191)
I'm a fourth year medical student


Good lord, they grow up so fast.
   68. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 25, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4332192)
Thank you, everyone. Obviously I feel weird talking about this considering my acrimonious history here but I deactivated my facebook two months ago, lost my log-in and feel alienated from the ppl at Sadly No and havent logged into my personal blog in over a year. Almost everyone in my family I cared about is dead while the only living one worth talking to doesn't understand mental illness. I've shut my friends out and I'm pretty sure my gf is now an ex-gf. I was supposed to see a doctor for the first time Friday but she cancelled and rescheduled for the middle of next month.

My therapist's tentative ddx is agoraphobia, anxiety disorder, depression and low self-esteem which sounds right to me except the last. I've been depressed more or less since I was a teenager; I'm content to live or die with it; it's part of who I am. And I've had experience with panic attacks but never this severe. Now, at their worst, they are dissociative -- or at least I think they are. Paradoxically and paralytically, it's an extreme of self-consciousness; I feel myself losing my wits and the more I try to compensate the worse it gets until there is some tipping point and I lose my sense of identity and have had at times the classic "out of body" experience. Every "cure" I've tried more or less mimics my disease: anti-depressants, benzos, etc., make me feel mentally gluey and dull to the point that I am no longer me. Also, I think a decade of working and living online has rewired my brain. I know ADHD is common and I've read plausible arguments that longterm computer use is a highly contributing factor to adult-onset ADHD. But just because I'm pretty sure of the cause doesn't mean I'm not bummed by it. I used to have a tremendous ability to concentrate that I was quite proud of; in my early 20s I truly was the type of man Pascal thought didn't exist in the West, one who could be content in an empty room (context is different, I know). Now at any given time I have 30 tabs open in my browser while watching #### on netflix at the same time. I used to read easily over 100 books a year but I bet I haven't read (as opposed to plunder, which is something else altogether) 10 in the last year and a half. Anyway, I've tried drugs for this problem as well and have found they make me uncomfortably tense and jittery, something I can accept for its utility in very rare instances but absolutely nothing I'd want to take every day. I used to be a social drinker and believe it was an adequate pressure release but the woman I've been with for the better part of five years is an alcoholic. I've never been an alcoholic but dealing with her problem has completely soured me on the stuff. I haven't had a drink in over a year. I have no chemical recourse apart from nicotine and caffeine. Principled anger used to be a great motivator and God knows there will always be a lot of stuff in the world to be righteously angry about but now I can barely be bothered, partly because all passion has seriously evaporated across the board and partly because I feel overwhelmed and alienated with cultural/political/philosophical topics.

Just after Thanksgiving year before last I dumped the alcoholic whose drunken behavior had become intolerable. After a plan to move to Colorado fell apart, I became a workaholic and from February last year to September this year was virtually glued to the computer. I took the alcoholic back because she quit drinking (which she has stuck to, admirably) though she has other substance and mental health issues. What can I say? She's creative and suicide girl gorgeous; I love her. Folie a deux? Anyway, because my job requires that I buy and store a LOT of stuff, the little farm house in the middle of nowhere I grew up in was becoming a hoarder's nest and moreover, I let a friend who was going through a terrible divorce be a part-time room mate. This is when the panic attacks started. So I bought (for a *ridiculously* cheap price -- the only way it could have happened because I'm not wealthy) my small town's oldest and grandest mansion so I'd have room to sustain and expand my business (I couldn't get a third of this space building onto my farm house for the price I paid for this house). But living even in a small town's most conspicuous house means traffic and visitors and curious people. I've lived in urban areas before and for years lived in an apartment a block from Beale Street in Memphis so it's not like I haven't dealt with this before but somehow it's different and I feel like I'm a bit besieged. The notions I had of this place having an encouraging affect on me like, say, moving to Lamb House had for Henry James, were quickly disposed of. This is the first Christmas I've spent here. When I bought it I thought it'd look gorgeous for the holidays. Turns out I'm alone here and there ain't no lights or tree or presents.

Sorry for the long post. I hope everybody (except for Blackadder Scrooge Neosporin) has a merry christmas.
   69. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 25, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4332196)
Principled anger used to be a great motivator and God knows there will always be a lot of stuff in the world to be righteously angry about but now I can barely be bothered, partly because all passion has seriously evaporated across the board and partly because I feel overwhelmed and alienated with cultural/political/philosophical topics.


Have you been reading the various submitted Hall-of-Fame ballots??!!! Do yourself a favor and read them in all for the next hour. The passion will be back, baby!!!

But seriously, hang in there. A lot of things you wrote about in the first paragraph were issues that I worked through a while back. It's not easy, but the only thing I can say is that it's important you not cut yourself off from the people who care about you or can help you. Hang in there.
   70. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 25, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4332202)
I know it's extremely cold comfort, RETARDO, but a whole bunch of us care deeply about you & what you're going through. And as indicated in the post right above mine, loads of us have been through similar situations ... & while they suck horribly, we're in OK (& in some cases better than that, even) shape now; we're living proof that things can & do get better.

(And I say that, by god, as a confirmed pessimist & cynic for whom the glass is not only never half-full, but is lying in broken shards just waiting to bloody my fingers when I try to pick them up.)
   71. CrosbyBird Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4332225)
Retardo, it's never the same for any two people, but I've been in a similar place. Anti-depressants have never worked for more than a couple of months for me. I've been fortunately able to channel some of this stuff productively toward work but every day is still a major struggle to get out of the house that I sometimes lose.

I'm sort of at the point now where I don't believe it will get better so much as my coping mechanisms will get better. I suppose in a way, that is better.
   72. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4332266)
Retardo, I don't think that you have ADHD. There's really no such a thing as adult onset ADHD. When people get diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood, it means that they have likely had it their entire lives. What appears to be happening to you is that your anxiety/depression is affecting your ability to concentrate which is very common.

If you don't mind me asking, who prescribed you the antidepressants that you've taken in the past? Why did you wait to see a mental health professional?

   73. PerroX Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4332279)
4) A very underrated treatment for severe depression is ECT. There's unfortunately a stigma associated with it among the layperson but it's been shown to be a better treatment than antidepressants.


An ex-gf had that before she met me. She wasn't depressed anymore, but her memory surrounding that period of her life was also zapped. Sometimes you have to take more extreme measures just to survive.
   74. PerroX Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4332281)
Falling in love with a suicide girl has its drawbacks.
   75. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4332298)
Man, if I could somehow choose which memories I lost, I'd wrap my head in aluminum foil, grab a fork & head for the nearest electrical outlet right this minute ...
   76. Swedish Chef Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:31 AM (#4332377)
Why did you wait to see a mental health professional?

Now, I'm not RETARDO but...

Mental Health professionals are scary, and if one's so anxious that it takes an effort of will just to go to the grocery store, is it any wonder that one puts off going to see them?
   77. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4332479)
Now, I'm not RETARDO but...


Nothing he posted gave even a hint of multiple personality disorder, so I tend to believe you.
   78. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4332639)
RETARDO, hang in there. I've had some of the same issues myself, and as Crosby said, it's not the same for two different people, so I won't pretend I've been in your shoes, but we value you as a person, and I'm sure you have a lot of other loved ones and friends who do as well.
   79. PerroX Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4332661)
Man, if I could somehow choose which memories I lost, I'd wrap my head in aluminum foil, grab a fork & head for the nearest electrical outlet right this minute ...


All you have to do is think of them while you do it. So go ahead and report back.

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