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Alternative Methods For Staying On Top Of Depression

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I am really interested in finding out what methods many of you use to stay on top of your depression. I am currently suffering pretty bad and have for a long time. I had a bit of a breakthrough over the weekend. One of my vices has been alcohol, because *** not? I'm depressed anyways. I was about to start drinking over the weekend but I had absolutely zero urge. The hangovers are just too much and are not what normal people experience. The anxiety is crippling and I can't stop thinking of death or being unconcious just to make it go away.

So anyways, I feel pretty strongly that I am done with alcohol. It's no longer fun even when I do drink it. I know I drank in the past because of depression, and just because I stop drinking, it doesn't really make me feel less depressed, besides a temporary boost. I really want to know what you guys find most helpful in dealing with depression. I feel like I have tried everything from exercise, mega dosing vitamins, antidepressants, dieting, meditation all with minimal success.

I am ready to try pretty much anything. My life depends on it. I don't know how many more times I have in me to try and beat this thing. Usually what happens is I get the motivation, feel good for a few weeks because of my new success, then plummet because nothing is working for me. Hell, I used to work out pretty much everyday. At one point I was 195lbs with low body fat and a fully viable 6 pack, yet I still hated myself and had them same dread in the pit of my stomach that I feel everytime I wake. I was on stacks of multivitamins/Amino Acids/fish oil Etc., as well, so it kills me when I hear about people conquering depressio

Like I said, I am willing to try pretty much anything. It kills me when I hear of people who beat depression through diet and exercise. I have been there, done that, and still felt like hell. And Antidepressants don't do for me, or at least any of the ones I have tried.

I also haven't been to a doctor in a while. I am about to schedule an appointment and am going to ask the doctor to run my book and test it for anything physically that can be causing my depression, although I have had blood run before with no abnormalities. I recently had a sleep study as well because I thought maybe I had a sleep disorder that was causing me to be lethargic and deprssed, but they didn't find anything in the study.

I am a blank state at this point and need some kind of plan that I follow everyday to combat my depression, but I don't even know where to start anymore because my executive functioning is pretty much screwed.

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Are you sure it's physiological? I mean, I would start by trying to figure out why you're depressed in the first place, i.e., root causes. I know that once people are in a depressed state, we can have irrational thoughts that blow things out of proportion (ready to cry at the drop of a hat), but that doesn't mean the depression itself isn't "a reasonable reaction to an unreasonable situation." Are you doing what you feel you're meant to do in life, or stuck in a job that you really hate? Are you living the life that you truly want to live, aside from the depression and past alcohol abuse?

 

I had the same experience with drugs just making me feel worse. I must've tried about a dozen. Instead of a doc who just tries to numb your symptoms by throwing pills at you, especially if they just do worse damage, I'd try seeing a therapist and trying to sort out what's at the bottom of this. For me, I know what it is, and it's just a matter of working through the baggage to learn how to live healthfully. If you've already had a bunch of tests done and none of them are finding anything physically abnormal, it seems logical to conclude that the cause of your distress can only be psychological.

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It's seems likely that a lot of my problems are psychological. I am really just trying to cover all bases. I did start back at the gym, which usually initially gives me a boost of energy, albeit, I irritable sort of energy that doesn't help much.

As for being in a job I hate, yes, that is correct. I really do dread going every single day. I can't even enjoy my weekends because I know, in what seems like a split second, I will be back in the office. I had a semi-breakdown before heading home after a week long vacation because I was terrified to go back to work an my new home. I moved in to my girlfriends house and I am constantly questioning if there is a future in this, and whether I made the correct decision or not. At work I am lost. I have so many different things on my plate that I don't even know where to start, so I get locked into indecision and get nothing accomplished, which perpetuates my anxiety.

As for doing what "I was meant to do", I am really not sure any of us were meant to do anything. I am not even sure what that means anymore. Hell, I barely have any marketable talents as it is, and even in the field my career is in, I am not even that good at it. I really don't even like to do that much. I used to like to write poetry and short stories when I was younger. I guess I could turn that into a hobby, but I cant see myself making any money that way. And really, how many people are doing what they love everyday? Not many, but most seem to be happy and well adjusted in their little lives.

Now I have contemplated many times just blowing everything up. Quit the job, breakup with th GF, moving somewhere new and starting a new life, but the problem is that I would most likely just end up depressed in my new life. I don't know how much of my depression is innate and can't be changed versus what parts are due to life circumstances. I am simply trapped due to indecision and lost at the same time.

I suppose a good therapist would be helpful, but I have yet to find one. Every therapist I have had refers me over to a Psychiatrist who puts me on an SSRI or some other form of antidepressant that causes more problems than it solves. I guess I need to keep searching until I find one. It's just really freaking hard to find a good therapist that will make you question your thought patterns. My last therapist would ask me "what do you want to talk about today?" at the start of every appointment. My answer would always be "I really don't want to talk about anything, I'm depressed." I guess I have expectations that a trained professional is supposed to lead the session a bit rather then simply taking what I say and repeating it back to me in the form a question.

Well, thanks for the response. It's always good to get some of this bottled up junk in my head out sometimes.

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You are right about how hard it is to find a good therapist. 

 

It sounds like you are doing lots of great things.  If you can find that therapist, that would certainly help.  Meds may help - it would be great if there was some sort of test they could do find out which meds are compatible instead that trial-and-error 'technique'. 

 

Have you tried mindfulness meditation?  I have been doing it regularly for ~ 8 months now (& not so regularly for a while before) and find it helpful.  It doesn't make everything go away but it is useful.  There is also something called MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) that might be something to investigate.

 

I wish you all the best on your journey.

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I agree with frozen. Just because some of us have more physiologically responsive symptoms, doesn't mean everyone will respond the same way. It's just like how some people can be depressed despite being in their ideal life situation (thereby ruling out situational depression for such people).

 

I second the tip about hashing things out with a good therapist or truly understanding/supportive/nonjudgmental loved ones. I'd also suggest not only asking your doctor to check over blood work with you, but also to screen out any other related/similar/overlapping illnesses just to be sure (such as thyroid issues, ADHD, etc.).

Edited by sabishikunaru

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Thanks for all the thought out responses. I tried meditation a while back but could never stick with it long. I remember it was very difficult for me to shut my brain off enough to be able to get a quality meditation session in. I did find an instructor lead group online that practices mindful meditation weekly. They don't charge a fee, but they do accept donations. I am going to try this out since it may be best for me to learn the proper techniques from others more experienced, then I can start practicing on my own.

Going to book a dr's appointment as well to cover all bases. Still have no idea how I am going to find a good therapist. I called my Employee Assistance Program last week freaking out, and they ended up getting hooked up with a councelor. I checked the councelor online and found out she is a pastoral councelor, which is interesting since I don't really believe in god. I am not sure I'm going to even setup the appointment since it sounds like a bad fit from the start.

As for ADHD, I am certain I have had it most of my life. Again, it's another one of those things where the medication has never been very helpful, so I'm not even sure what the point of getting diagnosed is.

Well anyways, have been hitting the gym this week and trying to keep a positive attitude. I have been keeping a journal as well. I think the meditation will be good for me, and hopefully, a good therapist sooner or later.

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Two things that greatly helped me out of the depths of a depression two years ago were

1. Hot yoga. Idk why the combo of exercise, breath work and sweating was really beneficial for me. I bought a unlimited pass and went almost daily for a long time

2. Readings lots of self help books. My favorite is you are not your brain by Jeffrey shwartz. This book really help me a lot. I also have a couple stress and anxiety workbooks that I do some "homework" in . I like to read a range of self help from scientific neurological based topics like neuroplasticity and psychopharmacology and just plain old psychology/operaant conditioning. All the way over to more spiritual based self help by the likes of Dalai Lama , deepak choprA, Elkhart tolls, and even some christian ( although I have to ignore parts of it ? Like joyce meyer.

I also read and leaned about topics as they related to me like depression anxiety ocd skin picking disorder ptsd and childhood sexual abuse.

Learning about mental health and how the brain works and why mental health happened really helped me separate my own identity from including being mentally unwell. I am not a crazy person nor am I a depressed or anxious person - I am a person who has anxiety and depression.

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You are right about how hard it is to find a good therapist. 

 

It sounds like you are doing lots of great things.  If you can find that therapist, that would certainly help.  Meds may help - it would be great if there was some sort of test they could do find out which meds are compatible instead that trial-and-error 'technique'. 

 

Have you tried mindfulness meditation?  I have been doing it regularly for ~ 8 months now (& not so regularly for a while before) and find it helpful.  It doesn't make everything go away but it is useful.  There is also something called MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) that might be something to investigate.

 

I wish you all the best on your journey.

 

Edited by Nissala

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You are right about how hard it is to find a good therapist. 

 

It sounds like you are doing lots of great things.  If you can find that therapist, that would certainly help.  Meds may help - it would be great if there was some sort of test they could do find out which meds are compatible instead that trial-and-error 'technique'. 

 

Have you tried mindfulness meditation?  I have been doing it regularly for ~ 8 months now (& not so regularly for a while before) and find it helpful.  It doesn't make everything go away but it is useful.  There is also something called MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) that might be something to investigate.

 

I wish you all the best on your journey.

Orso, there is a genetic test to find out what medicines you are compatible with. I am not sure how it works, but someone posted in one of the forums about it.  I found this link http://genelex.com/patients/its not the one they used but it gives a little information.

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Hi

On the mindfulness it is definitely worth starting with an instructor. You can't do meditation "wrong". The only that can happen is your mind gets distracted but as you notice the wandering you are being mindful of exactly what is happening to you at that time.

It's good your having the physical tests. My depression/tiredness was worse when I was anemic. (The anemia didn't cause the depression, just exacerbated it.)

When you checked out the counsellor did it say that she does pastoral work as one of her specialties? Often the list will include a range of clients a therapist works with and techniques that they use. It wouldn't necessarily mean she would discuss these things with you. On the other hand if her perspective really doesn't fit with you then it's fine to look for someone else.

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Well everyone, the last few weeks I have been working on trying to accept life for what it is and not be so miserable. I have been working out, taking my vitamins, eating right, meditating daily. I read Eckart Tolle's Power of Now along with a New Earth, tried to apply the principles. I was feeling ok for a week or 2; I guess it was just the initial rush. Now I am back to wishing I were dead. There seems to be no other end to this mental hell.

I feel like I exert most of my energy into putting on a happy face and I don't know how much longer I can keep it up. **** this life.

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