For those with depresion/anxiety, what helped you out?

haleyw

It's some kind of a new approach to therapy - instead of them giving you feedback and advice, they want you to talk continuously so you would realize what's going on by yourself...it's really annoying

That's what they did with me! Hated it!
 

Cassandra022

I've been depressed constantly since i was 14 and for me personally, in terms of the actual feelings of depression, symptoms etc. not much. Talk therapy while I do not dispute is useful for working through various issues that may exacerbate/cause depression in some, did nothing for me...meds have thus far been not useful either, at least the ones for treating this particular issue. on my fourth right now and thought it was doing something at first but....not so much.

but chemicals and feelings aside, people have said some useful stuff here. for me its like, you can't change how you feel necessarily but you can work on your thinking, and you have control over how you act. ie. working on things like avoiding negative thought spirals and ways of thinking that undermines yourself (which i think is a large part of CBT... self help books on that helped me way more than any therapist I must say) and keep doing things that need to be done regardless of how i feel, try to focus on things that interest me etc. physical activity can help, animals, keeping busy etc. basically avoiding the things that just add onto feeling worse.

tarot has been really helpful for me in terms of helping have a good perspective, positive encouragement, etc.

dunno other than that. i feel like a lot of my approach to things is based on priorities that are probably different than many peoples and ideas that i feel strongly about for me but would not necessarily recommend to anyone else (ie. avoiding talk therapy because i feel i gave it multiple shots and not for me, but i know it does a ton of good for others so i would never suggest to anyone else not to do it) and some things that aren't very great but lesser evil in context, etc.

anyway, sorry for ramble ramble, brain is a bit tired but i just saw this post for the first time. good luck with things and figuring out what works/helps for you, hope things get better :]
 

Milfoil

I've suffered with depression on and off for many years and the anxiety was ridiculous. I would lay awake night after night worrying about things that never ever happened. . .

I started exploring Tarot and all things spiritual I seem to be able to deal with things better. It's a way of exploring things, when you are looking for answers

Cassandra022 said:
you can't change how you feel necessarily but you can work on your thinking, and you have control over how you act. ie. working on things like avoiding negative thought spirals and ways of thinking that undermines yourself

It is REALLY interesting that you both say how ineffective counselling was for you. What you describe is person-centred counselling and I have to say, that in itself (ie as a whole and complete system of therapy) I have also found it to be flawed when training. However, what you have both said hits on, what for me is, the key issue - changing the way you think.

Chemicals change the way that the brain processes information and as a stop-gap, they can be really useful to quickly stop the negative thought processes which spiral down into the black hole of the self. However, unless the initial thought process is challenged, nothing will really change. Spiritual seeking whether through tarot or religion or any other way, has the effect of switching the focus slightly away from the self and to a higher aspiration towards something greater than ourselves.

Talking/counselling/psychotherapy is also attempting to flick that switch in the thinking over from entire focus on the self, to realisation, and learning. Whether Jungian or Freudian analysis where the therapist deciphers the signs based on their frame of reference and experience or through person centred counselling where you are given free reign to express what you need to and have certain things reflected back at you so as to realise how this seems to others (so that you make the connection) or CBT which attempts to force a change in behaviour and thought patterns through creating new habits and neural pathways of assessment and reaction to situations. All are attempting, in different ways, to do the same thing - GET YOU TO CHANGE HOW YOU THINK.

If you can decide to do this yourself, it is a LOT easier but 99.9% of us need help from someone else to see the different aspects of how we think so we can know WHAT to change. In the past, this is what the Church or belief system did by focussing on others, on something greater than yourself. When you have an aim in life, even if it cannot be achieved until you die, then being able to work towards that changes how you think.
 

Cassandra022

milfoil, i dont disagree with you at all...my aversion/negative experiences with therapy i think mostly stem from the fact that quality/ability of therapists tends to vary very, very widely. i really see it as a crapshoot...you may get luck and find someone who is good at what they do and a good fit for you, or you may get super unlucky and get someone who both doesnt do their job well and whose personality does not mesh with you at all, or anything in between.

for me, i know i have a thing where regardless of my subjective feelings i can evaluate a situation pretty objectively if i try, and if it seems pointless i just cannot stick with it. one of the first people i saw...i would go there and she would encourage me to color (lol i was 19 and she gave me crayons...) and ramble about whatever for an hour and i would leave feeling just as bad and keep doing some self destructive things and rinse and repeat and what is the point of that?

i have no doubt that some can be helpful, but it takes real energy to do the legwork of finding someone, setting something up, figuring out if they are good...and when i have so little and so many other thongs to do...i would rarher just pay shrink for med consults every so often and use the energy i would have devoted to searching to just try and work on things myself.

and as for chemicals vs. thinking, i think it can be either or both in different proportions for different people/at different points in time. like a lot of my distress when i was younger did stem from my thinking, how i tended to react to things, etc. and i am still working on that but there is so much i have gotten over, and yet...mood in general is no better. i have gotten much better with dealing and living with it, but in and of itself it is really no better at all. i have been in situations where i was so happy with where i was and what i was doing and seeing and at the same time the waking up not wanting to move or do anything, moving as through molasses, random crying, random thoughts of wishing i was dead which are so normal i dont even register them as distressing (nor have intention of acting on) etc are just the same, get just as intense. no lifestyle or behavior or thinking changes i have made has meaningfully improved that in like ten years...to me that cannot be anything but a purely chemical issue, and one that seems particularly tricky to even chemically fix. which isnt to say working on those other things hasnt improved my life overall because it most certainly has. and you are no doubt right that it is generally easier to do with help, which is why i would not suggest my own approach to things to anyone else in most cases.
 

CelestialHorse

Yeah, thinking back to my last therapist, she was nice, I really liked her but I can't remember all the advice she gave me D: All well.

I know you can use tarot to help but I am unsure with my cards right now but who knows. XD

I did go to one recently couple of times but she been late to the appt. and brings God into the conversation and I am not really comfortable with that :/

I think I will just start from the bottom which I think would be self esteem that needs to be worked on first. I mean self esteem is the root of depression/anxiety and other problems right?
 

Disa

I didn't see this thread before, either. I've read through the posts and there are so many good recommendations here, I agree that you must do what works for you-whether it's medication, therapy, or something else.

I'm 42 now and I had experienced periods of depression since I was about 13. My mother has been treated for depression and so had my biological father so I imagine I should be the most depressed person on the planet...but I'm not. Once I had a child of my own, it didn't seem to get any better, though I was able to focus more on her and less on myself so it did help pull me out of it...I was always hesitant to take meds because my father would write to me and tell me how weird they always made him feel. My mom took meds and I don't know that they ever did any good. It doesn't seem the therapists/psychiatrists/psychologists did either. So I never took that route.

What I'm getting at is- until I really, seriously started studying metaphysics and changing the way I think (which I think Milfoil mentioned earlier) the depression would come and go. I don't think I've experienced any depression at all for more than 10 years.

Once I started showing gratitude and really noticing every beautiful thing in the world I could see on a daily basis, things improved. When things were bad I would look for something good, even just a flower blooming, a bird singing, the sun shining, then I would look for something else good that was happening, I woke up, I am breathing, I feel good, just examples but the more I started "counting my blessings" the more I realized there are so many good things in life and not nearly as many bad ones.

As far as how to deal with other people- the old saying goes, no one can hurt me without my permission...so, it really isn't about what other people do, it's about how we react to what they do. We cannot control others, but we can control how we react to them.

I have been taking courses in metaphyiscs for years. They involve many, many guided meditations and lots of written work. I thought when I started that these classes would show me how to help others, but what it did more than anything else is teach me how to heal myself. With these courses I healed things in myself that I didn't even know were wrong...(I think they offer the courses individually now so a person can pick and chose which they think might be beneficial to them instead of enrolling in the school, if you are interested in that sort of thing. )

Anyway, I think focusing on your own spirituality, what you believe, finding out what things affect you the most in life and learning the skills to cope with those things is a really good way to assist you in treating your depression. (in conjunction with everything else you may be trying)... There are things we experience and those things trigger different reactions, but since we are so used to them we may not always realize that these are things we can change or how to go about changing them- a lot of our issues are self imposed limitations because we aren't aware of how deeply they are affecting our daily choices and we aren't always aware of ways to get around them. So- finding the tools to recognize these things, then the skills to cope has been a tremendous help to me.

Also, you mentioned learning something new- I found that making jewelry is very therapeutic - any craft you find interesting may do the trick. It gives you the opportunity to create something beautiful all while living in the moment of creating it. You get the benefit of engaging your mind in a creative way, and also feeling a sense of accomplishment once you see what you created.

You didn't say how old you are, but I see you have the same birthdate as my daughter. :)

I wish you all the best.
 

nicky

I get pretty awful when it is winter - the lack of sun thing makes me really want to crawl in a hole - I went through an antidepressant buffet years ago - kept trying different ones but did not find one that I thought worked for me...which is when I started St. John's wort. I honestly don't know if it helps or not. Anyone else use this?
 

CelestialHorse

Heh I am in my 20s :). I honestly don't like telling my age because I get the "OH YOU LOOK SO MUCH YOUNGER, REALLY? YOU ARE SO NOT THAT AGE" thing and it bothers me :p I'm okay if they say I look 18 or older but younger, I get offended. (I even one time been really considering getting cheek fat removed) but I digress...

St. Johns Wort can help I hear :) I never took it but I know you can't take it if you take anti depressants/anti anxiety. I did try herbs once not sure if it helped to be honest but of course it seems you have to do most of the work.

It did seem being grateful and positive did work and does work for me. I just want tk know what I can do to get what I in life. Maybe obsessing over it is resisting what I want.

Yeah I wonder if I will do that anti depressant buffet thing :/ Zoloft worked for few months or so for me then (Okay I do blame Zoloft for ruining a friendship for me because I was on it and it just made me a wreck and I dump the pieces of crap down the toilet), Effexor for half a year and it made me feel worst. Paxil worked the longest but it seemed honestly it never worked that well for me in the last year or so.

I am on Cellexa now and Buspar :) Just have to wait a week or so. I just hate how with anti anxiety it doesn't build up in your system like anti depressants do -.-

Course I just wish I had more things to do during the day. The work I have has very inconsistant hours so I am left to able to think about anything and thoughts plague me. I think once my birthday is over, (I don't want to get anything right now because I don't want to buy what they get me) but maybe having self help work books will help. I just need to put them in practice more.
 

jcwirish

Gosh, everyone has written so many helpful and wonderful things here to help. I don't have much to add now, but I will say that hearing that others know what I'm going through can be so very comforting and helpful.

Meds are a big part of it. (maybe a higher dosage or different drug would work better for you.

Try taking vitamin D as well and get some sunlight on your skin every now and then.

Meditate and focus on the gratitude stuff.

Write it all down in a journal.

Creative projects are huge for me. I like knitting and drawing, but anything that gets you out of your head and in the moment is great!

Some people see huge improvements in their mood when they stop eating gluten. Gluten intolerance gets ignored a lot, but it can make a world of difference.

Laughing a lot! Watch the funniest, goofiest movies you have. Sometimes just laughing really hard can pull me out of very dark places pretty fast.

I don't think I added anything new here, but these things help me out sometimes. Just remember that you're hardly alone. Even though it feels so isolating and scary, you feelings are shared by many who are willing to listen and understand. Hope some of this helps. :heart:
 

Disa

Heh I am in my 20s :). I honestly don't like telling my age because I get the "OH YOU LOOK SO MUCH YOUNGER, REALLY? YOU ARE SO NOT THAT AGE" thing and it bothers me :p I'm okay if they say I look 18 or older but younger, I get offended. (I even one time been really considering getting cheek fat removed) but I digress...

St. Johns Wort can help I hear :) I never took it but I know you can't take it if you take anti depressants/anti anxiety. I did try herbs once not sure if it helped to be honest but of course it seems you have to do most of the work.

It did seem being grateful and positive did work and does work for me. I just want tk know what I can do to get what I in life. Maybe obsessing over it is resisting what I want.

Yeah I wonder if I will do that anti depressant buffet thing :/ Zoloft worked for few months or so for me then (Okay I do blame Zoloft for ruining a friendship for me because I was on it and it just made me a wreck and I dump the pieces of crap down the toilet), Effexor for half a year and it made me feel worst. Paxil worked the longest but it seemed honestly it never worked that well for me in the last year or so.

I am on Cellexa now and Buspar :) Just have to wait a week or so. I just hate how with anti anxiety it doesn't build up in your system like anti depressants do -.-

Course I just wish I had more things to do during the day. The work I have has very inconsistant hours so I am left to able to think about anything and thoughts plague me. I think once my birthday is over, (I don't want to get anything right now because I don't want to buy what they get me) but maybe having self help work books will help. I just need to put them in practice more.


I only asked your age because later on there are "hormone" issues. I was in denial about this until it happened to me. My daughter is almost 21. She and I both have felt our depression lifted while on birth control pills. Something in the hormones made us feel better.

St. John's wort barely worked for me, but you can't take it if you are on birth control pills. Honestly regular over the counter pamprin seemed to work better. That Bach's Rescue remedy is supposed to help, but it didn't really do anything for me- I may not have given it enough of a chance?

What you can do to get what you want in life is to set your intention. Write down your goals, visualize yourself achieving them, then take the necessary steps to make them happen. Be proactive, things don't just come to those who wait. These things will make you feel empowered, that you are more in control of what's happening to you. Your mind will be occupied with goal oriented ideas instead of wandering in circles agonizing over things. Same goes for wishing you had more things to do in the day. Think about things you are interested in doing and then make them happen. There are many, many things you can do during the day. Go do them :)

Self help books will work if they are books that resonate with your situation. Some of them won't apply and trying to make them fit because an author said they should will not work if it isn't the right thing for your situation. You mentioned somewhere something to the effect of gaining self esteem is where it all starts and that really is the root of everything. This is what I mean by changing the way you are thinking about things (including yourself). Whatever you think you are, can change. They are thoughts about you, but not necessarily the reality of what you are or could be. Changing the way you see yourself could work wonders. It takes a lot of work. Start now, don't wait until you are 40 something and completely miserable. Begin to make things happen for you now. Just the very fact that you started this thread and have been engaging in it shows that you are open to change.

Whatever to is you hope to achieve, it may not be easy- but you CAN do it. :)