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What Can I Do While Waiting For My Antidepressant To Kick In?


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Hi everyone,

I want to know what activities and/or hobbies can I do while waiting for my AD to kick in?

I tried reading but I cannot focus nor comprehend what i'm reading. I tried movies and television, but I cannot focus and because i'm numb I cannot connect with what i'm viewing. I tried socializing but I cannot connect with who I am speaking with and talking feels like a chore. Also, I tried exercising but it makes me even more anxious. At the moment I cannot find pleasure in anything. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like months. I'm open to suggestions and experiences. Thanks

Edited by americanoaks
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This was very tough for me. I ended up just doing what I always did during my daily life. It's really hard not to obsess while waiting for your relief. Are you still taking Zoloft?

Thanks for the reply.

I am but i'm in the process of weaning off. Unfortunately Zoloft has stopped working. I didn't realize it was working until it stopped working, if that makes sense. I begin Citalopram tomorrow.

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One thing you might try doing is something I did in the same situation as you when the antidepressant hadn't reached full effectiveness and nothing gave me pleasure: wage a little war on your depression yourself.

You can take a little card and write on it: over-simplification. In depression you will be assaulted with a lot of unwelcome, negative thoughts and feelings about yourself. It can help to realize that you are a complex person made up of trillions of facets and that no word or words can ever "sum you up" fairly and truthfully. In depression people can call themselves names: weak, stupid, lazy, no good and variations on all of these. It can sometimes help to actively oppose those thoughts and feelings with a counter-word: "over-simplification." You are trillions of times richer and more complex than any word or words. And you have done literally trillions of brave, strong, beautiful, smart and good things in your life. Trillions!

So when a little thought pops into you mind, a little negative label, fight it if you can. It only takes really one word to show the untruth and unfairness of labels: over-simplification.

On another little card you can write: "Am I treating something as a matter of life or death when it really isn't?" Very few things in life are actually life-or-death matters. In depression and/or anxiety all kinds of things can take on an artificial sense of life-or-death urgency. So it can sometimes help to defuse these. "Will someone cease to exist if I don't do x?" That can help determine real life-or-death urgency from artificial urgency.

Fighting against depression is sometimes helpful when other things leave one cold. And fighting against depression can sometimes cause other things to become meaningful or pleasurable or joyful again.

I apologize if my advice is not helpful. I can only really speak to what has worked for me. In any case, I hope your medication starts to show real efficacy and soon. And sorry again if my words are not helpful. It is do difficult to say things that are really helpful to people. Best to you!!!

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This was very tough for me. I ended up just doing what I always did during my daily life. It's really hard not to obsess while waiting for your relief. Are you still taking Zoloft?

Thanks for the reply.

I am but i'm in the process of weaning off. Unfortunately Zoloft has stopped working. I didn't realize it was working until it stopped working, if that makes sense. I begin Citalopram tomorrow.

Good luck with the med change.....you know the drill, try and be patient.

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One thing you might try doing is something I did in the same situation as you when the antidepressant hadn't reached full effectiveness and nothing gave me pleasure: wage a little war on your depression yourself.

You can take a little card and write on it: over-simplification. In depression you will be assaulted with a lot of unwelcome, negative thoughts and feelings about yourself. It can help to realize that you are a complex person made up of trillions of facets and that no word or words can ever "sum you up" fairly and truthfully. In depression people can call themselves names: weak, stupid, lazy, no good and variations on all of these. It can sometimes help to actively oppose those thoughts and feelings with a counter-word: "over-simplification." You are trillions of times richer and more complex than any word or words. And you have done literally trillions of brave, strong, beautiful, smart and good things in your life. Trillions!

So when a little thought pops into you mind, a little negative label, fight it if you can. It only takes really one word to show the untruth and unfairness of labels: over-simplification.

On another little card you can write: "Am I treating something as a matter of life or death when it really isn't?" Very few things in life are actually life-or-death matters. In depression and/or anxiety all kinds of things can take on an artificial sense of life-or-death urgency. So it can sometimes help to defuse these. "Will someone cease to exist if I don't do x?" That can help determine real life-or-death urgency from artificial urgency.

Fighting against depression is sometimes helpful when other things leave one cold. And fighting against depression can sometimes cause other things to become meaningful or pleasurable or joyful again.

I apologize if my advice is not helpful. I can only really speak to what has worked for me. In any case, I hope your medication starts to show real efficacy and soon. And sorry again if my words are not helpful. It is do difficult to say things that are really helpful to people. Best to you!!!

Thanks Epictitus. Any encouragement and advice is helpful.

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This was very tough for me. I ended up just doing what I always did during my daily life. It's really hard not to obsess while waiting for your relief. Are you still taking Zoloft?

Thanks for the reply.

I am but i'm in the process of weaning off. Unfortunately Zoloft has stopped working. I didn't realize it was working until it stopped working, if that makes sense. I begin Citalopram tomorrow.

Good luck with the med change.....you know the drill, try and be patient.

Thanks flasquish. Will do.

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When I was abroad and didn't have access to a pdoc or therapist, I tried doing mindfulness exercises to take the edge off of my anxiety. I found that classical meditation was way too difficult because I couldn't sustain the focus required and ended up beating myself up for not being able to stick to it, but one thing I found that DID help me was daily contour drawings. Basically, you take a small object and try to draw it without a) taking your eyes off the subject and b) lifting your pen from the paper; essentially, you try to sync up the movement of your hand with the movement of your eyes. Here's a demonstration; she uses a face, but I usually used my hand or a coffee cup or something similar. It forces you to be really mindful and present while giving you something concrete to focus on-- for me, it always helped me pull myself out of my head.

It's a pretty out-there suggestion, and I have no idea if it'll work for you-- but if you give it a try, let me know how it goes. I hope you find relief soon.

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I would tend to focus on the very basic things but they are important, so things like eating regularly, eating healthily, having a wash every day, getting dressed every day, that kind of thing. I find some easy computer games can be good, word puzzles or sudoku (depends if you are up to it). I now have a book of colouring in for adults and that is a great passtime! you can find this type of thing on amazon. I'd also chat to some online friends, on forums or twitter. Outings-wise think baby steps. How about meeting one good friend for a coffee, rather than trying to do a large gathering? Or make a point of going to the nearest shop every day and buying a newspaper or something? I like walking up to the library, it gets me out of the house, costs me nothing and I get to come home with something new. Oftentimes texting a friend is easier than other forms of contact.

Hope my ideas might help!

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