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  1. Thank you for your perspective. I'm glad you've found employment that makes it easier to take care of yourself. That's so crucial. I'm definitely saving quitting for a last resort. I don't really have the three grand, for one thing, and it would be very difficult for me to find something else with similar pay and benefits, especially since quitting mid school year doesn't exactly shine on a resume. The benefits, especially, would be really tough to lose. I am lucky to get pretty good health insurance, which I really need right now as I'm seeing my psychiatrist and counselor a LOT trying to deal with this along with some physical health issues. So at least the job exacerbating my depression is providing me resources for dealing with said depression. Trying to see those silver linings.
  2. Start with the people you WANT to get back in touch with. The people you think would be happy to hear from you, to learn that you're doing okay (because at least some of them were probably at least a bit worried about you). The people who would be a positive presence in your life. Once you've rebuilt some good relationships, if you're still making progress in getting better, maybe, mayyyybe you could start to contact those less positive influences. If you truly feel that you'll regret never seeing them again, then perhaps you should reach out eventually, but do not do it until you are feeling confident in your recovery and have those good relationships built up. I can't tell from your post if you did end up getting into therapy or not, but a therapist could be a very helpful guide in this process too.
  3. Are you talking about therapeutic benefits of having your own pets? Or sessions with a trained therapy animal? I know a bit about both. First thing I want to do is clarify some terms, because it's easy to mix up therapy animals vs. service animals vs. emotional support animals. -A therapy animal (usually a dog) will generally work with groups. They visit hospitals, group homes, schools, etc. They have to go through some training and a test to prove they can behave well with larger groups of people. -A service animal provides essential services to one person, like a seeing-eye dog. They require months of training, must be certified, and can legally go anywhere with their owner, even places that do not normally allow dogs. -An emotional support animal is really just a pet. They can be any animal and do not get any special training. If a person has a disorder or disability, and a good claim that their pet helps them emotionally cope with things, their doctor can write them a prescription to designate their pet an ESA. This gives them the ability to have a pet even if their landlord does not generally allow it. Your right to an ESA is protected in the home, but you cannot legally take them into places that don't allow pets, because they are not trained or certified. There have been issues lately with people downloading fake certificates and buying fake vests so that they can try to take their ESAs into restaurants and such, but that is illegal and unethical, because the ESAs misbehave and create a negative perception of real service dogs. Sorry for the ramble! Anyway, here are some of my experiences. I sat in on some group sessions with a therapy dog when I worked at a mental health hospital. I was there as an employee, not a patient, but it was still fun to observe. A volunteer facilitator would bring in her super adorable, very calm and cuddly Bernese mountain dog. He'd walk around and let people pet him, and the facilitator would ask questions and have people share their experiences with pets. It was pretty cool. I saw some very depressed people light up a bit when they got to pet the dog. The affection of an animal can feel really good. Having your own pets is really good for your mental health too. I got my first cat when I was 20, and he was an absolute godsend. For a few years I lived alone, and was miserably depressed. I swear, some days he was the thing that kept me going. It's so good to feel needed. I knew I had to hang on because my little guy depended on me. He died last year, and I still miss him terribly. These days I live with my husband, and we have two new cats (the cute babies in my profile picture) and a dog. The cats are just hilarious. They play together and it is so funny, some days they're the only thing that makes me crack a smile. The dog is also very sweet and loving, and going for walks with him is really healthy for both of us. If I had to move and couldn't find a place that allowed pets, I would definitely ask my psychiatrist to write me a note to say they are emotional support animals so that they could stay with me. My mental health would definitely deteriorate without my fuzz-babies. __________________________________________________________ I also want to add another natural depression treatment: Food. Trying to eat a varied, healthy diet can really make a difference. If your body isn't getting vital nutrients, it can contribute to depression. Vitamin D is a noteworthy example, but lots of other vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are involved in the way your brain works. This is like exercise, in that it can be really hard to do when you're already depressed. You either lose your appetite and struggle to eat anything, or you eat low-nutrient, starchy snack foods because they're easy to eat, don't require cooking, and give you a brief dopamine rush. Taking small steps, like snacking on baby carrots instead of Doritos, can help with progress toward healing depression.
  4. Hi Forum, I'm not doing very well right now. I hate my job. I do have a pattern of seasonal depression, but work is just making it so much worse. The loved ones that I've talked to about this tell me that it's probably the depression making me hate my job so much, but I really think it's the other way around. I can cope with depression when I have the energy to practice self-care, like exercise, cooking, other enjoyable activities. I can't when my work takes every ounce of my physical and emotional energy. I spend most of my nights and weekends in bed. I know how terrible this is for my mood, but I can't seem to work up the will to do more. I have a contract, and I'd be fined 3000 dollars to break it. My contract ends in June, and it just seems so, so far away. I've started having passive suicidal ideation. Just nagging thoughts, no real desire to act. I'm not ready to share that with anyone in my life. It would just worry them, and until I think there's a real danger, I don't want to share the burden. I know that logically, if I really do give up, I can just quit. Losing three grand is a lot less painful than death. Doesn't stop that little voice whispering "I want to die." Even if I don't really want to die. I just want the misery to stop. Typing this out honestly helped a bit. Thank you for reading.
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