Fighting Depression with tools to compliment Anti Depressants
You guys know I’m a big fan of Psychotropic meds, but continuing in the vein of short straightforward posts, let’s look at what else you can do besides meds. Pls note I am not for 1 second advocating the use of the below without medication (if your clinician has prescribed meds) Dropping Lithium or Effexor to try the below will lead to a massive decline in health. However the below can help Lithium or Effexor (as an example)
Sounds silly! There is one thing that my mom never forgets to ask me when I’m over – Are you exercising? Exercise is one of the main things on the path to recovery. I “Start, Stop” and same again . I’m determined now to be consistent.
You can be too. Do anything that takes you out of the house, anything that connects you to your body and lets you feel a pumping heart. Anything that makes you want to take a fuller and deeper breath. Walk and break a sweat and let that reminds you that you are alive and well. Swim for muscle strength. Don’t dismiss what you liked pre Illness, if you liked golf or tennis , return to these sports.
Again.Don’t panic. I am not suggesting you guys leave your phone. These days we have many online resources and apps on meditation to help you create a morning routine for setting the tone for your day. Mindfulness is popular. I enjoy waking up early when life is quiet and I have downloaded “HeadSpace” from I tunes! This Appworks for me. It creates space in my head. There are also many Apps where you can record your Mental Health in brief daily.
Some recommended Apps –
5 ways to Wellbeing (You set activities for wellbeing, tasks)
WRAP Apps (Wellness Recovery Action plan)
Daylio (Diary for mood recording)
Calm Halm (Self Harm prevention tool)
Stay Alive (Suicude Prevention Tool)
*may differ I need availability in countries, but very similar will ever available.
Don’t Beat yourself up
Don’t ask “why this is happening to me” or “What did I do to deserve this” and instead shift attention toward being proactive about understanding actually what’s happening to you. It is common to see depression as a stigma, like the bad work experience on your CV that you don’t want to share with a future employer. But if you go beyond that first impression, and learn about what’s happening to your body and mind in depression, it is humbling and enlightening
Don’t worry not religious mad!!
Be careful. These ups and downs can be rough. Don’t lose hope in yourself and this world. Don’t lose hope in others. Waking up every morning and opening our eyes to a new day — that alone is cool. There is beauty everywhere. Have faith in something greater than yourself.But also have faith in yourself, and endless patience. We are not here to be perfect. We are here to learn, and to live our life to the fullest.
I felt very upset by those who discredited what I was feeling through lack of knowledge about the subject. That’s my mam and dad primarily . Over time I came to see that I can’t expect everyone to know or understand what I am going through. Like I needed to be compassionate and forgiving towards myself when I didn’t understand the causes of my depression, I also need to be compassionate to everyone else. They don’t understand. Some will. Some will never understand, so be it!
If you are experiencing common depression symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Don’t think that the problem will go away by itself. Many times we discredit or suppress what we are feeling, and sooner or later that creates a cycle. We get used to feeling that way. Our self-esteem drops to new lows and we begin to see our life through an even darker glasses. So break the cycle. Reach out! Ask for help. Speak about it.
CLEAN THE CLOSET:
By closet I don’t mean shorts and T Shirts. Move away from relationships that don’t serve you. Friendships that are not growing. Habits or patterns that go against your internal compass. Make a list of the toxic situations and patterns in your life. And start planning how to move forward. The future is yours. I know it sounds a little “Alice in Wonderland. But it works!
Do something for someone else. You’ll feel better for it.Depression tends to divert all of our attention from the world around us into our own pool of infinite sadness. Break the flow. Find a cause that inspires you. Do something for this world. Be of help when you go to work.Give a beggar on the street few Euro.
When you’re feeling a fair bit better , travel.We don’t always have the means to travel. But remember that traveling opens your mind and heart. Experience the vastness and diversity of this planet. Submerge yourself in a different culture and like an anthropologist learn about their history their struggles and their successes. It will give you fresh perspective.
A big caveat-this is only possible if you don’t have commitments!! Also check with your Doctor and ensure you have enough meds and a letter from your doctor outlining condition and meds.
Life is short, and our list of fears too long. One at a time, try to overcome your fears. I’m trying this presently!
I have told the day job and all friends and family of my Mental Healtb. My plan is to become a Stigma Fighter(real life, with the cape!). Look at the regrets of the dying online guys.
You can do so much in life, grab it.
Now go take your Antidepressant!!