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(Depressed!) where can I find self & community improvement sites/forums?

Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, so depressed people like me are often not simple solutions. Often there are many problems that reinforce each other when you try to target and solve a single one in isolation. There is no one answer, like a magic bullet cure. Which is why people who give advice are so frustrated, because depressed people "won't listen". No one knows the formula for what gets a person out of depression.

I'm very discouraged with the mental health system. (here in Ontario, Canada) I had been in it for years with nothing to show for it. I've been thinking for quite a while now about trying to find another psychotherapist, but I have a feeling there's a long waiting list just to see someone from a selection of a bunch of incompetent boobs.

So why isn't the topic "I want to cure my depression"? Because I'm depressed and most of the time I don't give a shit about that kind of thing. I'm trying to find ways to change that during the minority of moments when I care.
and... besides... a lot of people seem to break out of depression by being gravitated out of it into something else. an interest gives momentum which breaks them out of old habits. maybe slowly.

I have plenty of interest in the things surrounding depression, like psychology. I also don't want to just focus on my problems all the time. Despite being depressed and dysfunctional, I'm still interested in topics like community improvement. I figure the two are a good match. (self-improvement and community improvement, not depression and community improvement. :> )

It's strange. Information on depression seems so splintered and specialized. There's no inter-relatedness.

I'm interested in the entirety of what drives a person out of depression. Do they need to feel loved before absolutely anything can happen? Do they need a role model? Will that be enough to motivate them by a majority of their feelings? And how do you get those things? (I know there's a step in between, which is self-esteem, but I think I must be too afraid to do anything about that)

No wait, I changed my mind (again... again, again, again) this is about depression.
man, how does someone who's depressed manage to do the things required to get themselves out of depression? It took me almost a year to decide to move out of the place I was in, sharing with a roommate who I wasn't comfortable with. I wonder how long it will take me to leave my apartment (regularly), or get a shrink... or anything else.

Chaotic Descent on

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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    You have to really, honestly, desperately want to get out of your depression, and you have to want to do whatever it takes to get there. Sometimes people need to "hit rock bottom" before they go there; for me, it took an absolutely terrifying and humiliating trip to the mental hospital after a suicide attempt before I realized that I didn't want to go through life being miserable/utterly apathetic/self-destructive/various other depressive states if I could change that, even if the change was much harder work than I was comfortable doing at the time. It's better to be uncomfortable and improving than comfortable and miserable, though.

    You feel like going to a therapist is pointless, right? That's the depression talking. Go see a goddamn therapist. If you don't like the state-sponsered ones, see a church counselor. Decide for yourself that you want to get better and work on doing so.

    Trowizilla on
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    Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    You have to really, honestly, desperately want to get out of your depression, and you have to want to do whatever it takes to get there. Sometimes people need to "hit rock bottom" before they go there; for me, it took an absolutely terrifying and humiliating trip to the mental hospital after a suicide attempt before I realized that I didn't want to go through life being miserable/utterly apathetic/self-destructive/various other depressive states if I could change that, even if the change was much harder work than I was comfortable doing at the time. It's better to be uncomfortable and improving than comfortable and miserable, though.
    I've heard about that, but I've been hoping to avoid "hitting rock bottom". I don't know if I'm just wasting time in doing so, or if purposely hitting rock bottom is at least as stupid an idea if not more-so.
    It's funny how you can't just spontaneously change your mind. or maybe it's just that I don't understand the problem. I always have the immediate problem. It's 7:30am and I haven't slept yet, and I have to wake up to at least make it to my mom's for Sunday dinner, and she'll be disappointed that once again I've slept all day so that she can't do anything with me. and I can't do anything with anyone, even if I did know someone to do stuff with. I can't even meet people when I'm only awake at night. but here I am, and I have to sleep. and how did I get in this mess in the first place? I thought it would be a good idea to watch 3 episodes of Dr. Who in a row. and before that? Every time I tell myself I can't let this happen again, and every night/morning I find myself in the same situation. I guess at the time it makes perfect sense. I'm doing something important at the time. Unraveling some great mystery on the internet, like who all those great British comic book writers are, or the history of the drug ecstasy, or what fantastic new technology there is... or maybe it's just that I'm making arrangements to buy some more toys, because ooh this toy is rare and valuable and I just have to have it and if I put this off until tomorrow I won't feel like doing anything about it and it'll end up taking a week or two which is so unprofessional or I'll miss out on it.
    Oh, even during the day things seem unimportant. The only time things are important is when it's past time to go to bed. Then it's time to wake up and get active.

    My latest thinking is that my brain is overloading on the internet, and that meditation is the only thing that's going to get me out of this. except this book about Zen doesn't seem to actually teach meditation. I gotta learn meditation. stop the wheels in motion. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." I can never remember past that first line. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Safu that thoughts aquire speed, the lips aquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." There we go.

    You feel like going to a therapist is pointless, right? That's the depression talking. Go see a goddamn therapist. If you don't like the state-sponsered ones, see a church counselor. Decide for yourself that you want to get better and work on doing so.
    I'm not religious.
    People are fools, and I'm no exception. We don't decide anything for ourselves. Our heads just get filled with stuff which prevents or attracts other stuff that comes at us later. I'm searching for the right intermediate ideas that are compatible with the ones I already have that will lead me to the idea that I want to go to bed on time and do other things that will help. Too bad they don't have compatibilities of meme-complexes mapped out so I could see where I am and where I need to go yet. That's what I really want. for things to make sense.
    If it's the depression talking, who am I, and how can I act independent of depression? and if I could do that, would I still have depression?

    Chaotic Descent on
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    SlainbylichSlainbylich Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    My latest thinking is that my brain is overloading on the internet, and that meditation is the only thing that's going to get me out of this. except this book about Zen doesn't seem to actually teach meditation. I gotta learn meditation. stop the wheels in motion. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." I can never remember past that first line. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Safu that thoughts aquire speed, the lips aquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." There we go.

    ***

    If it's the depression talking, who am I, and how can I act independent of depression? and if I could do that, would I still have depression?

    I just wanted to chime in that meditation isn't a magic cure all for this type of thing. It can help, but it isn't going to fix all of your issues overnight. Depression is a warning light that flickers on a dashboard when something is wrong. If you can't identify the issues that are causing this, having other people help is a good idea. They may be "incompetent boobs", but if they are you switch to someone that isn't.

    In the short term, why don't you try switching your sleep schedule back to being awake during the day? I know that over the summer when I was awake solely during the night I got worse in my mental outlook. If nothing else, it's something that you can do something about right now.

    Edit: You mentioned zen meditation. I'm no expert, but I know the basics.
    1) Find a comfortable place to sit that will be free of distractions.
    2) Make yourself comfortable and focusing on your breathing for a while, just observe it.
    3) If you start having thoughts about other things, that's ok, just switch to observing them. Don't interact with them. It's hard to describe, but don't hold on to them, just let them "fly their course".
    4) Continue remaining detached and observant, if you find that there are no more thoughts parading through your mind, good. Go back to focusing on your breathing.

    Continue for as long as is comfortable. I usually sit in meditation for 20 minutes or so, but it varies from person to person.

    Slainbylich on
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    Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    My latest thinking is that my brain is overloading on the internet, and that meditation is the only thing that's going to get me out of this. except this book about Zen doesn't seem to actually teach meditation. I gotta learn meditation. stop the wheels in motion. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." I can never remember past that first line. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Safu that thoughts aquire speed, the lips aquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." There we go.

    ***

    If it's the depression talking, who am I, and how can I act independent of depression? and if I could do that, would I still have depression?

    I just wanted to chime in that meditation isn't a magic cure all for this type of thing. It can help, but it isn't going to fix all of your issues overnight. Depression is a warning light that flickers on a dashboard when something is wrong. If you can't identify the issues that are causing this, having other people help is a good idea. They may be "incompetent boobs", but if they are you switch to someone that isn't.

    In the short term, why don't you try switching your sleep schedule back to being awake during the day? I know that over the summer when I was awake solely during the night I got worse in my mental outlook. If nothing else, it's something that you can do something about right now.
    Hahah. I know my post was long, but I went over that. I seem to be unable to get to sleep on time.
    Edit: You mentioned zen meditation. I'm no expert, but I know the basics.
    1) Find a comfortable place to sit that will be free of distractions.
    2) Make yourself comfortable and focusing on your breathing for a while, just observe it.
    3) If you start having thoughts about other things, that's ok, just switch to observing them. Don't interact with them. It's hard to describe, but don't hold on to them, just let them "fly their course".
    4) Continue remaining detached and observant, if you find that there are no more thoughts parading through your mind, good. Go back to focusing on your breathing.

    Continue for as long as is comfortable. I usually sit in meditation for 20 minutes or so, but it varies from person to person.
    I've tried some meditation, but I've found it really difficult. I think I must be doing it wrong when I TRY to bring focus back to whatever it was I was doing whenever a thought comes up. (instead of being more passive. yeah; hard to describe.) Or I'm practically falling asleep. I think both cases give me headaches.

    not a magic bullet my ass. what else gardens the mind?

    Chaotic Descent on
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    seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    1) If you're depressed and you don't want to be, you should be seeing a therapist of some sort. Yeah, sometimes people get out of it on their own, but they've won the lottery. Don't play the odds.

    2a)If the computer is keeping you up at night, new rule: you are not allowed to use the computer at night. Install a program that will turn off your internet connection at certain times. Or if that's not enough, buy a timer (the kind you use for lamps or christmas lights), and plug your computer's power strip into it. 10 PM, computer goes off (and hopefully, you will have remembered to turn it off before then). If it's necessary, extend the ban to TV. Spend the rest of the evening reading or exercising or doing something else to help you wind down before bedtime. If you think of something you need to do on the computer, write it down on a notepad and get to it in the morning.

    2b) You may also want to see a doctor about getting a sleep test scheduled if it's impacting your life this much. 2a will probably be among his/her initial suggestions though.

    3) As far as helping in your community goes, people are generally happy for volunteers. It just depends on what you want to do. Like the arts? Go in to your local theater, orchestra, museum, or library and ask how you can help. Like sports? Ref or play in a neighborhood league. Like politics? Volunteer for a local politician or challenger (they'll definitely be happy for people right now). Like the outdoors? Try a park you like. And of course there are also the local food bank or shelter or Habitat for Humanity or so on.

    Check your city's website -- they probably have a list of groups you can start looking at there.

    seasleepy on
    Steam | Nintendo: seasleepy | PSN: seasleepy1
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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    You have to really, honestly, desperately want to get out of your depression, and you have to want to do whatever it takes to get there. Sometimes people need to "hit rock bottom" before they go there; for me, it took an absolutely terrifying and humiliating trip to the mental hospital after a suicide attempt before I realized that I didn't want to go through life being miserable/utterly apathetic/self-destructive/various other depressive states if I could change that, even if the change was much harder work than I was comfortable doing at the time. It's better to be uncomfortable and improving than comfortable and miserable, though.
    I've heard about that, but I've been hoping to avoid "hitting rock bottom". I don't know if I'm just wasting time in doing so, or if purposely hitting rock bottom is at least as stupid an idea if not more-so.
    It's funny how you can't just spontaneously change your mind. or maybe it's just that I don't understand the problem. I always have the immediate problem. It's 7:30am and I haven't slept yet, and I have to wake up to at least make it to my mom's for Sunday dinner, and she'll be disappointed that once again I've slept all day so that she can't do anything with me. and I can't do anything with anyone, even if I did know someone to do stuff with. I can't even meet people when I'm only awake at night. but here I am, and I have to sleep. and how did I get in this mess in the first place? I thought it would be a good idea to watch 3 episodes of Dr. Who in a row. and before that? Every time I tell myself I can't let this happen again, and every night/morning I find myself in the same situation. I guess at the time it makes perfect sense. I'm doing something important at the time. Unraveling some great mystery on the internet, like who all those great British comic book writers are, or the history of the drug ecstasy, or what fantastic new technology there is... or maybe it's just that I'm making arrangements to buy some more toys, because ooh this toy is rare and valuable and I just have to have it and if I put this off until tomorrow I won't feel like doing anything about it and it'll end up taking a week or two which is so unprofessional or I'll miss out on it.
    Oh, even during the day things seem unimportant. The only time things are important is when it's past time to go to bed. Then it's time to wake up and get active.

    My latest thinking is that my brain is overloading on the internet, and that meditation is the only thing that's going to get me out of this. except this book about Zen doesn't seem to actually teach meditation. I gotta learn meditation. stop the wheels in motion. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." I can never remember past that first line. "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Safu that thoughts aquire speed, the lips aquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." There we go.

    Meditation is nice, but it's no magic bullet. Stop letting yourself get on the internet at night. Force yourself to get up earlier (a really nice, loud alarm placed across the room is good) and go to bed before midnight. Not getting enough daylight will absolutely make you depressed. Staring at screens will keep you awake. Get up early and, if you have a hard time getting to sleep, read a book instead of fucking around online.

    You feel like going to a therapist is pointless, right? That's the depression talking. Go see a goddamn therapist. If you don't like the state-sponsered ones, see a church counselor. Decide for yourself that you want to get better and work on doing so.
    I'm not religious.
    People are fools, and I'm no exception. We don't decide anything for ourselves. Our heads just get filled with stuff which prevents or attracts other stuff that comes at us later. I'm searching for the right intermediate ideas that are compatible with the ones I already have that will lead me to the idea that I want to go to bed on time and do other things that will help. Too bad they don't have compatibilities of meme-complexes mapped out so I could see where I am and where I need to go yet. That's what I really want. for things to make sense.
    If it's the depression talking, who am I, and how can I act independent of depression? and if I could do that, would I still have depression?

    Part of the problem with smart people is that they're very good at rationalizing their excuses. If "it is by will alone that you set your thoughts in motion," then you do decide things for yourself. Denying free will, however entertaining a philosophical exercise, is counterproductive and silly.

    You are a person with a condition that's causing your brain chemicals to be fucked up. Why waste time worrying about "Who am I without depression?" It's just fapping over a philosophical conceit again. You don't like being depressed. Being you+depression makes you unhappy. Work on fixing your depression so you can be happy and don't worry about this "Who am I/free will/meme-complexes" shit.

    Trowizilla on
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    Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    seasleepy wrote: »
    1) If you're depressed and you don't want to be, you should be seeing a therapist of some sort. Yeah, sometimes people get out of it on their own, but they've won the lottery. Don't play the odds.
    What do I do for the year or two that I'm on the waiting list for that though? :S
    2a)If the computer is keeping you up at night, new rule: you are not allowed to use the computer at night.
    I have a router that I'm sure has those settings, but I could still waste time offline. It's hard to just decide something and stick to it.
    3) As far as helping in your community goes, people are generally happy for volunteers. It just depends on what you want to do. Like the arts? Go in to your local theater, orchestra, museum, or library and ask how you can help. Like sports? Ref or play in a neighborhood league. Like politics? Volunteer for a local politician or challenger (they'll definitely be happy for people right now). Like the outdoors? Try a park you like. And of course there are also the local food bank or shelter or Habitat for Humanity or so on.

    Check your city's website -- they probably have a list of groups you can start looking at there.
    No, I mean more like eliminating cars in cities, or at least getting rail transit (and preferably suspended above the ground) replacing the major commuting roads. (my god, the amount of roadkill...)
    making save biking. making a nice neighborhood that isn't turned into skyrises and condos and shopping malls and parking lots. good god, I do hate walking long stretches of nothing but roads and traffic intersections and parking lots. education and health care is nice to have too.
    You know, stuff that's too ambitious to actually do anything about. :S
    well, maybe the mailing list I got on will provide something more interesting...

    Chaotic Descent on
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    Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Part of the problem with smart people is that they're very good at rationalizing their excuses. If "it is by will alone that you set your thoughts in motion," then you do decide things for yourself. Denying free will, however entertaining a philosophical exercise, is counterproductive and silly.

    You are a person with a condition that's causing your brain chemicals to be fucked up. Why waste time worrying about "Who am I without depression?" It's just fapping over a philosophical conceit again. You don't like being depressed. Being you+depression makes you unhappy. Work on fixing your depression so you can be happy and don't worry about this "Who am I/free will/meme-complexes" shit.

    Yeah. Damned smart people! counterproductive or not, I do it. I can't spontaneously change my mind. (any more than I will decide to spontaneously change immediately back)
    I want a map. even a vague sense of "where" my mind is (what ideas it's made out of), and what's the route to take to get to my intended destination. You'd might as well tell me to believe in god despite the fact that I don't. How am I supposed to do that? It sounds like what you're telling me is that the solution is to stop being smart and somehow unquestioningly follow a relatively arbitrary decision I make. I say relatively arbitrary because it's not a solid enough concept that I understand and believe in it. I wish there was some kind of depression exercise I could do that would help me understand the situation better without having to struggle like hell. I feel like I'm fighting a minority battle against myself. I don't think blunt force is the answer.

    Chaotic Descent on
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is going to sound really cheesy and maybe it's just a personal thing, but I'd recommend the mantra "baby steps" which is totally ripped off from the movie "What About Bob?"

    It's how I eventually crawled out of depression, because when I was depressed it was easy to feel helpless and despairing because all of the changes that would have to be made to be undepressed are usually pretty huge. Small things like going outside to someplace different for a little bit, putting something really silly somewhere, getting something bright colored, picking something up in your room and putting it away.

    There's some other things, I don't want to be spammy or make too many assumptions, but it's a slow process and when you're in the middle of it, it's better not to think about the whole process at all and to just concentrate on the baby steps instead.

    That probably didn't help at all :) but anyways, baby steps!

    Hypatia on
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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Part of the problem with smart people is that they're very good at rationalizing their excuses. If "it is by will alone that you set your thoughts in motion," then you do decide things for yourself. Denying free will, however entertaining a philosophical exercise, is counterproductive and silly.

    You are a person with a condition that's causing your brain chemicals to be fucked up. Why waste time worrying about "Who am I without depression?" It's just fapping over a philosophical conceit again. You don't like being depressed. Being you+depression makes you unhappy. Work on fixing your depression so you can be happy and don't worry about this "Who am I/free will/meme-complexes" shit.

    Yeah. Damned smart people! counterproductive or not, I do it. I can't spontaneously change my mind. (any more than I will decide to spontaneously change immediately back)
    I want a map. even a vague sense of "where" my mind is (what ideas it's made out of), and what's the route to take to get to my intended destination. You'd might as well tell me to believe in god despite the fact that I don't. How am I supposed to do that? It sounds like what you're telling me is that the solution is to stop being smart and somehow unquestioningly follow a relatively arbitrary decision I make. I say relatively arbitrary because it's not a solid enough concept that I understand and believe in it. I wish there was some kind of depression exercise I could do that would help me understand the situation better without having to struggle like hell. I feel like I'm fighting a minority battle against myself. I don't think blunt force is the answer.

    "Happiness is better and more enjoyable for you than unhappiness," not really a very arbitrary decision. I'm not saying don't be smart, I'm saying that sometimes it's good to turn your scrutiny to other things. Save the philosophy for when you've got your depression under control. Right now, it's like you're stuck in the quicksand and, instead of working to get out of the quicksand, you're pondering the merits of action versus inaction in Buddhist philosophy. Pulling yourself out should be your first priority.

    Look, here is a question to ask yourself: Do you want to be depressed forever? Yes or no?

    Once you've answered that, there's a lot of good advice around here for getting undepressed. It doesn't matter whether depression is a part of "you" or an outside force acting upon "you"; either way, you can change it if you decide to work hard enough at it.

    Trowizilla on
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    Andrew RyanAndrew Ryan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The real trick is in concluding that you want/deserve to be happy.

    Self-loathing is a tricky beast to overcome, it will tell you that there is some profound greater purpose to your misery, that it's somehow important for you to be miserable. I advise you not to listen to it.

    Andrew Ryan on
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    seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    seasleepy wrote: »
    1) If you're depressed and you don't want to be, you should be seeing a therapist of some sort. Yeah, sometimes people get out of it on their own, but they've won the lottery. Don't play the odds.
    What do I do for the year or two that I'm on the waiting list for that though? :S
    Keep looking around? Talk to your doctor or regional mental health groups. They may be able to get you either referrals or at least a group you can talk to while you're waiting.
    2a)If the computer is keeping you up at night, new rule: you are not allowed to use the computer at night.
    I have a router that I'm sure has those settings, but I could still waste time offline. It's hard to just decide something and stick to it.
    Get the lamp timer then, if you think you'd be wasting time on the computer even if you can't get online.
    Seriously, turning the computer off is a very important step in trying to get your sleep schedule back on track. I guarantee you if you were to go talk to a doctor about your sleep problems, avoiding the computer and TV for several hours before bedtime would be like the second thing on the list after avoiding caffeine.

    If you really actually want to change your sleep schedule, make it a fucking priority to stay away from the computer in the evening.
    3) As far as helping in your community goes, people are generally happy for volunteers. It just depends on what you want to do. Like the arts? Go in to your local theater, orchestra, museum, or library and ask how you can help. Like sports? Ref or play in a neighborhood league. Like politics? Volunteer for a local politician or challenger (they'll definitely be happy for people right now). Like the outdoors? Try a park you like. And of course there are also the local food bank or shelter or Habitat for Humanity or so on.

    Check your city's website -- they probably have a list of groups you can start looking at there.
    No, I mean more like eliminating cars in cities, or at least getting rail transit (and preferably suspended above the ground) replacing the major commuting roads. (my god, the amount of roadkill...)
    making save biking. making a nice neighborhood that isn't turned into skyrises and condos and shopping malls and parking lots. good god, I do hate walking long stretches of nothing but roads and traffic intersections and parking lots. education and health care is nice to have too.
    You know, stuff that's too ambitious to actually do anything about. :S
    well, maybe the mailing list I got on will provide something more interesting...
    So you're interested in high concept stuff. Advocacy groups for those sorts of things need volunteers too.

    Look -- I may be off base here, but you sound a hell of a lot like I do when I fall into this trap (which I do, a lot) -- you are making excuses to just keep waiting for answers to your problems to fall in your lap. Yeah, they do, on rare occasion. But it's almost always a hell of a lot faster to stop making excuses and do something yourself.

    seasleepy on
    Steam | Nintendo: seasleepy | PSN: seasleepy1
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