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

Milfoil

What is the difference between these two?
Thanks
Jonika

There are three main (with lots of offshoots) areas of counselling and psychotherapy.

Freudian - where the therapist listens to then analyses what has been shared so as to give the client a different perspective.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - where the therapist, after listening to the client, offers specific tasks which the client can do to break behavioural patterns and habits. It can be very useful but sometimes doesn't get to the root of the problem unless you have a really good therapist with multiple therapeutic modalities under their belt. Things like Anorexia and OCD can respond well to CBT.

Person Centred Counselling - where the client is encouraged to talk about everything and anything they want to relating to how they feel. The therapist listens and reflects back certain key aspects so that the client can hear what they say in a different way, thereby the client finds their own way of understanding what is going on and how to progress or change.

All have their place but the PCC is the most commonly used. It has been interesting to find that people on this thread have not always found it to be a complete healing in itself.

But with any of these, it is the person themselves who must acknowledge and initiate the healing. You can talk around it all you like but in the end, the hard work of change can only be done by oneself.
 

Chiska

Made an appt with the Doctor for friday..
Thank you everyone :D. This has been really really difficult but I appreciate all your help and advice

I am very happy to see this! The first step is the most difficult, but once taken is an excellent start.
 

Grizabella

2) Some depressed people (including me) are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D may contribute to depression. So I make a conscious effort to do something outside for 10 minutes a day (at least, even if it's cold). Take a walk or just sit on the porch. Even if it's cloudy you'll get some vitamin D from the sun.

Good advice. Get your vitamin D the natural way. The latest research on the vitamin D thing is that people aren't deficient like was the rage for awhile. As someone else said, too much can be toxic. Every time I turn around, though, there will be someone pushing vitamin D capsules and one of the counselors at my grand-daughter's school just prescribed it for her without any testing first! If you go the vitamin D route, be sure to spend ten minutes outside a day and get yourself tested before you take it orally.
 

Cassandra022

Speaking of vitamins and such, my current shrink is having me try out something called Deplin as an adjunct to other meds...it's a "medical food" of high dose L-methylfolate which apparently some people with chronic depression have deficiency in/trouble absorbing. Apparently it's something you can test for, but so expensive to do so it makes more sense to just try out/see if it helps. Sadly my insurance doesn't cover so had to order from discount online pharmacy and thus just starting...don't know that it will do much (though he says some of his other patients responded quite well) and the price thing is an issue, but...another possible thing to be aware of i guess :0
 

Chiska

Grizabella and Cassandra have good points - a good medical workup is a good idea. Deficiencies in certain things can have an effect on one's mental well being as well as one's physical well being. As Griz pointed out, many of those supplements can be problematic, so best to do so with medical advice.

Again, I wish you the best of luck on this new journey!
 

inanna_tarot

Just wanted to give you lovely people here on AT an update.
After your advice and kindness I got to the doctor and made an appt - we talked about the way I feel and how in the cold light of day I know its silly to feel all these things, but when I am at home it overwhelms me and controls me. We talked medication, other alternative therapies and we even talked about time off work which I refused to do as I found work hard enough a hurdle - to then take time out and have to go back again, I would have found even worse.

So I had a few regular appts with my doctor to discuss how things were progressing and I have to admit things were not really moving despite using all my tricks and his advice. We thought possibly some medication to just help me swim rather than drown in emotions.

And then I, after a pretty horrendous 2 weeks at work severely banged my head against a cabinet, giving myself concussion, brain scans in case of bleeding (so I have a brain now, Ive seen it!) and having forced leave off work to recoup. And in that time something 'clicked' and changed. I stopped doing anything spiritual and just stopped, in silence and saw how stressing out and anxiety didnt make me any better at work or at home, and that its best just to let it go.

For the first 2 weeks after this, I felt weird, I guess I felt 'normal'. I didnt walk to walk praying to all the gods that I wasnt going to get told off about work the night before, or the work to come in the day ahead... I didnt feel worried about how I was going to manage another night at home or how to pretend to my parents everything is fine. I stopped applying for jobs in far off places to run away from this feeling.... the moment I stopped running away from feeling these things and actually sat with them, their power over me slowly melted away.

Took a near miss brain injury, but I am feeling much better now.


And now dipping my toe back into the Tarot world again. I do feel scared that by using tarot again and holding my soul up the mirror again I will feel those old feelings, but I just try to only work with Tarot when I feel in a positive, grounded mindset, and not try to use it as a comfort blanket - pulling cards until it says things are going to be ok. I have stopped looking at the cards for the future outcome of the day, but divine guidance to help my soul shine each day.
 

Milfoil

This is wonderful news Innana-Tarot. Really wonderful. :)

I'm so glad for you and your faith in yourself now instead of external things. Before anyone thinks, 'How could I be so silly to think that way?" Many of us go through this, it seems like one of the major steps on the road to discovering your true self. If you never have periods like this and have to find your own way through them, how can you learn or know progress and change.

A knock to the head and especially concussion, often results in feelings of euphoria and fits of giggles as well as prolonged periods of sleep (yes, been there, done that too) and can take weeks to get over and heal. Drugs can mimic this process by forcing sleep or elevating the mood but it seems that the Universe gave you a helping hand. Very interesting.
 

inanna_tarot

thank you Milfoil.
Another thing the whole bump on the head scenario made me do was talk. Talk to my parents, talk to my friends, my boyfriend, talk to my boss.... and it shared the load and helped me see that all this burden and judgement I was carrying wasn't necessary. But I would not recommend lying in A and E as a catalyst for it, but hospitals are used to being spiritual and emotional catalysts :)

But its a work in progress, each day I feel where my shoulders are and think what tension is there, and can i actively do something, or should i just let it go. It is working so far. Its my practical zen and I try to do it when I make a cup of tea and waiting for the tea to brew, i just check in to my shoulders and let tension go. So far its helping.
 

BleuReynard

Meditation,
Medication,
Yoga,
Sometimes doing a read helps,
Do things to boost your confidence, like an online IQ Test.
RPG video games work well to get your mind off reality.

I had a friend, (actually a chatty daily customer back when I worked service) who overcame his depression and drinking habits with RPGs. He was under house arrest and bored as hell. His wife had left him and his daughter who left for college stopped talking to him. After a previous incident (the same that lead to his house arrest) he was banned from buying alcohol.
TV was repetitive and was starting to make him sick. His daughter's old PlayStation was still attached. He had no idea what he was doing, so he played the game already in the system, Final Fantasy VII. It became his new addiction.
After sometime he became stuck in the game, not knowing what to do he called his daughter. For the first time since the family left him he was able to talk to her. The calls became a weekly event. They would talk about games, college, and life. He said they have never bonded like this before.
When I met him, he was in his late 50's and still heavily into gaming.

But be warned, sometimes you can loose touch with the real world if you do it too much.

Thought I'd share. Take care, depression sucks.
 

Nickigirl

Awesome list I found online, but # 1 first and foremost us that you need to go to a doctor and phychiatrist or psychologist!!! Right away! Then this:


"21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.

A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.

I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. It’s manifested in different ways. I did therapy. I did prozac. I did more therapy. My baseline is melancholic. I’d just made peace with it when I moved, unintentionally, to a place that had markedly less sunshine in the winter. I got seasonal depression. I got that under control. Then I got really, really sick. Turns out it’s a permanent, painful genetic disorder. My last pain-free day was four years ago.

So, this Cult of Happy article just set me off. Just… anger. Rage. Depression is serious – debilitating, often dangerous, and it’s got an enormous stigma. It leaves people to fend for themselves.

It’s bad enough without people ramming Happy Tips at you through facebook. There is no miracle behaviour change that will flip that switch for you. I know, I’ve tried.

A friend of mine suggested that I write something from my point of view because, surprisingly, I manage to give an outwards impression of having my shit together. I was shocked to hear this. And I find this comical, but I see her point. I’m functioning. I’ve adapted. I’m surprisingly okay. I think the medical term is “resilient”.

So, here it is.



My 21 Tips on Keeping Your Shit Together During Depression



1) Know that you’re not alone. Know that we are a silent legion, who, every day face the solipsism and judgement of Happy People Who Think We Just Aren’t Trying. There are people who are depressed, people who have been depressed, and people who just haven’t been hit with it yet.

2) Understand that the Happy People are usually acting out of some genuine (albeit misguided) concern for you, that it’s coming from a good place, even if the advice feels like you’re being blamed for your disease. Telling you these things makes them feel better, even if it makes you feel like shit. (If they insist on keeping it up, see #12.)

3) Enlist the help of a professional. See your doctor. You need to talk about the ugly shit, and there are people paid to listen and help you find your way to the light at the end of the tunnel.

4) Understand that antidepressants will only do so much. They’re useful, they’ll level you out and give you the time you need to figure out your own path to getting well. They can be helpful. There are lots to choose from. They may not be for you, and even if they are, they take some time to kick in. Conversely, they may not be for you. Work with your doctor.

5) Pick up a paintbrush, a pencil, an activity you got joy from in the past and re-explore that. Or, sign up for the thing you always wanted to try. There is a long history and link between depression and creativity. It’s a bright light of this condition, so utilize it to your best advantage.

6) Eat nutritionally sound, regular small meals. If you’re having trouble eating, try to focus on what you’d like to eat. I went through a whole six week episode of tomatoes and cream cheese on a bagel twice a day. Not great, but it was something – helpful context, I’m a recovered anorexic. Conversely, if all you want to do is scarf down crap, try to off-ramp it by downing a V-8 and doing #9 for 15 minutes, and see how you feel. Chucking your blood sugar all over hell’s half acre is going to make you feel worse.

7) While you’re doing #3, get some bloodwork done. If you’re low on iron or vitamin D, or if your hormone levels are doing the Macarena… these can all contribute to zapping your energy or switching your mood to Bleak As Hell.

8) If you’re in bed and the “insomnia hamsters”, as I like to call them, are on the wheel of your head, watch Nightly Business News on PBS. This has the effect of Nyquil. Swap out your coffee for herbal tea. If you just cannot sleep, try the next tip….

9) Learn how to meditate. Start by focusing on your breathing. Not sleep, not thoughts. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Meditation is focusing on being present in your body, not careening around in your brain. It may not be as good as sleep but it will give you some rest and recharge you.

10) Face a window as often as you can – at work, at home. Look out into the world. Watch. Observe. Try to find something you find pretty or interesting to focus on. And, handily remember that one in five of those people out there feel the way you do.

11) Cry. Better out than in. Sometimes it’s not convenient or career-enhancing to cry, so find a private place as best you can and let the tears go. Carry Kleenex and face wipes and extra concealer if you wear makeup. You can always claim allergies.

12) Any “friend” who resolutely believes that your depression is because you’re lazy, because you’re not trying hard enough, who blames you for not bootstrapping out of it- that friend needs to be cut off. Polite (#2) is one thing, but there is a limit. You don’t have to explain, you can just not respond. You feel badly enough, you don’t need their “assistance”.

13) Limit your time with people who drain you. You know who they are. Often you don’t have a choice- but you can put the meter on. And, subsequently, be aware of what you’re asking of those close to you.

14) Everyone has shit they’ve got to deal with. What you have been saddled with is your shit. Recognize, just as you’re not alone, you’re also not unique. The grass may look greener, you may be jealous or envious of others who don’t have to deal with depression, but you likely do not know everything that’s going on with them.

15) Let go or be dragged. This is an old Buddhist saying. It’s a very useful way to frame aspects of depression. Betrayal, anger, fear… letting go is a process – often a painful and difficult process - but it’s ultimately going to show you the path out of this terrible place. Repeating the mantra can help when you’re feeling gripped by these feelings.

16) Wear clothes that make you feel confident. It takes as much time to put on nice clothes as it does to put on sweatpants. You will want to wear the sweatpants. Fight the urge. The whole “look good/feel better” campaign isn’t limited to cancer and chemotherapy. Or women.

17) Avoid fictional drama and tragedy like the plague. No Grey’s Anatomy, no to The Notebook, or anything that won a Pulitzer prize. You’ve got enough going on In Real Life. Comedy only. Or trashy stuff. Old episodes of WonderWoman? I’ve got the box set. Mindless drivel, like the latest CGI blockbuster. Or clever, funny books. David Sedaris. Jenny Lawson. Fiction exists to elicit emotion, and the emotion you need to express most right now is laughter.

18) Simple exercise, if you can. It can be something as simple as taking the stairs up a flight, or walking around the block. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it doesn’t have to involve climbing a mountain or running a marathon. Baby steps.

19) Depression will lie to you. Depression will try to tell you what others are thinking. That you are unloved and unworthy, that others think little of you or don’t care – or even wish you harm. You are not a psychic. Keep repeating that. “I am not a psychic”. Repeat. The only way to know what another person is thinking is to up and ask them.

20) If you are well and truly losing this battle, reach out to someone. I’ve been the random friendly-but-not-close person who has fielded the occasional outreach. I like to think I’m not judgemental and generally resourceful, and others have thought the same, so they called and asked. You know someone like me. And they will help you.

21) Forgive yourself. I’m writing out all these tips, and I can’t always muster the strength to even stick my nose outside, or walk up the stairs, or eat my vegetables. Today, I got outside for ten minutes. I will try again tomorrow. And I will try again the day after that.



This list will not cure you. This list will not flip on the happy switch. God, I wish it were that easy. The theme here is to not to unknowingly sabotage yourself. All these little things? Like your blood sugar, or watching nonstop episodes of House, or endless Try Harder lectures from your Perpetually Perky sister?

They all make dealing with depression just a tiny bit harder than it needs to be. And it’s hard enough, all on its own.

UPDATE: Wow, guys. Thank you. The feedback has been wonderful - all I wanted to set out to do was something helpful.

For those of you who want to see the original rant, Here it is..www.diycouturier.com/post/41923259437/to-the-person-who-wrote-21-habits-…
And here’s the response to my response (?) - basically, after posting my retort, the happy people came at me with torches all over the interwebs.
www.diycouturier.com/post/42465364887/trollin-trollin-trollin#_=_

Also, a few people have mentioned that having a critter is a great thing to keep you on track, that taking care of something and having something rely on you keeps you going. I went back and forth on including that, but for some, it’s just not feasible to have a cat or a dog… but my cat is my Prozac.

And, I wrote this in Canada, where we have universal health care. It breaks my heart that people don’t have access to professional support. You can sometimes find a community health centre, or sometimes your work benefits will have an employee support or assistance plan as part of your insurance. If you’re without benefits and hitting desperation, phone someone. Friend, family - even your local distress centre.

Stay well, my melancholic interweb friends…xoRR"