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Depression - what works for you ?


Sentinel2

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Hello, I have been depressed for about 12 years now, with some better times in between, been going to psychiatrist all this time. For last few months it has been the hardest in my life. Since all the different meds i tried in that time didn't help me much, i am wondering how you are battling with depression, maybe i could do something that helped someone else. The reason i am asking this is that i am out of ideas. Basicly not a single thing brings me joy anymore (except going out on a friday and having a few beers). All the things i used to enjoi, i can't even touch them. I remember watching a movie/series or playing a video game was fun for me, now i cant even start it because i say why bother, what is the point. It is like will to live has been completely sucked out of me, but as i said, last few months are worse then ever. I have a really hard time getting through the day, even the most simple things seem like hardest burden. 1 other thing to note is that i feel very nervous all the time (when i sit i move my leg in rhytm and feel like i have to go away do something else) and that i am in a time of big changes for me (near the end of college, hard exams, etc.). So what has worked for you ?

Edited by Sentinel2
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The only thing that has really worked for my depression is medication. My combination of Mirtazapine and Desvenlafaxine has worked very well in the past, and now I'm planning on attempting to try a combination of Mirtazapine and Duloxetine to see if that helps even more. 

Doing both paid work and volunteer work has also helped my depression a lot. However, before I am capable of performing such jobs, I need to be on an adequate dose of antidepressant medication. So once I'm stabilised on a sufficient dose of medication (even if it's not my ultimate target dose), I find that working and getting out of the house by exercising and socialising as much as possible really helps me. However, I know a lot of people say these things (socialising and working) don't bring them joy. They don't bring me joy either UNLESS I'm on my medication, because my medication allows me to start enjoying these pleasurable activities once again like a mentally healthy human being.

I also take medication for social anxiety if I need to take something to get me out of the house (often my anxiety makes me not want to go to work or see my friends). Medication that has worked for this anxiety includes diazepam, propranolol and pregabalin.

When I have enough money, going shopping for things to make me feel better about my appearance/grip on life also makes me feel better. I plan to go clothes shopping sometime soon, because wearing tattered old clothes (as I have been throughout this last depressive period) makes me feel a lot worse about myself.

Once you have the ability to feel pleasure again through medication, therapy or whatever else, I think it's very important to start taking steps to get out into the world and do things that give you a sense of productivity and/or enable you to experience pleasure. This seems impossible when you are really, really depressed. But once you have found away to stabilise your mental state, easing back into life is very important.

I have also found that taking control of your life by saying no to certain things/quitting certain activities that cause more stress or make you more depressed is very important. This is a big one for me and it's something I struggle with, as I am socially anxious and have always been a "yes man". One of my New Year's resolutions is to work on being more assertive and say no to people by giving up activities that only make my depression and anxiety worse. This could be taking on too much extra work or doing activities that you don't enjoy and really aren't necessary.

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Also, maybe take a break from using social media and watching the news for a week or so if that's possible, and see how you feel. Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed often makes me depressed, as it makes me feel like a failure when I see everyone else with these happy, perfect lives. I know that a lot of it is really a facade and that people tend to exaggerate their happiness and achievements on social media, but it's hard to ignore what your eyes are telling you when you see all these happy photos and statuses about how much everyone else is enjoying life!

Although I like to keep up to date with current events, watching the news too often also makes me feel depressed. Every day there's some new sexual abuse/harassment scandal, innocent people dying, families lives being ruined and people being ripped off and mistreated. Watching the news often feeds my nihilism, which is something I need to stop doing if I want to get better.

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1 hour ago, Saliency said:

Also, maybe take a break from using social media and watching the news for a week or so if that's possible, and see how you feel. Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed often makes me depressed, as it makes me feel like a failure when I see everyone else with these happy, perfect lives. I know that a lot of it is really a facade and that people tend to exaggerate their happiness and achievements on social media, but it's hard to ignore what your eyes are telling you when you see all these happy photos and statuses about how much everyone else is enjoying life!

Although I like to keep up to date with current events, watching the news too often also makes me feel depressed. Every day there's some new sexual abuse/harassment scandal, innocent people dying, families lives being ruined and people being ripped off and mistreated. Watching the news often feeds my nihilism, which is something I need to stop doing if I want to get better.

Taking a break from using social media is a really good idea. Long walks to calm my mind help me a lot. 

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Sorry you are having such a hard time.  I have suffered with anxiety and depression.  But I don't take meds.  Most people are deficient in Magnesium and Vitamin D.  These are both necessary for a healthy mind.  Also nutrition, eating protein, avoiding processed foods and sugars, and taking probiotics.  The biggest thing for me is occupying my mind with something - like reading good books, doing something for someone else, etc.  Have you heard of Ravi Zaccharias?  He is an author and speaker.  He survived a suicide attempt when he was younger.  He has written a bunch of books on meaning and purpose and he speaks to young people.  There are videos on YouTube.  I think so many young people today are struggling because they have been told there is no meaning or purpose.  I don't believe that.  We have to have a purpose. Praying you are able to find some hope and help.

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It is interesting, never in my life have i thought of doing charity work, except helping family and friends. Now, when it seems like i have lost purpose in life, i often think of doing charity, just to give my life some meaning, it is really strange. Also work as soon as i finish college, it makes me feel good, knowing i did something in the day, makes me feel better the rest of the day. 

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I've had the leg thing too, ever since i started taking medication. It's kind of involuntary but I can stop it.

Were you ever a fan of music? I find a few old songs that I used to love give me a real boost for a short time. There's often still that devil popping up in the back of my mind telling me about hopelessness and futility if I catch myself having fun but in general it really works for me as an short term mood changer. It helps me focus for work as well.

I also find forums like this a blessed relief. Contact with people that are possibly like-minded in many ways and not here to judge. Plus even if they did judge it doesn't matter as it's just a forum.

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Hi Sato,  interested in the techniques you mention.  Do you have more details, especially the breathing exercises.  I do 7 11 breathing which helps me some in times of high anxiety?

Edited by twotone
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Hi,  yes,  I breath in through my nose,  make sure your belly rises,  not your chest.  try to fill your lungs.  Then exhale but in a controlled manner for 11 seconds.  takes some practise.  I first tried it when I was highly anxious and only managed maybe 8 seconds for the exhale at first

It also can alsodivert the mind from ruminating as a bonus  (for a while anyways)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Staying as healthy and as busy as possible helps me. For my health I try to drink lots of water, avoid drinking too much coffee or booze, and walk around my house & outside a lot. I stay busy by reading, watching youtube videos, drawing, and writing. So having hobbies is really important and helpful to me. Since I have some days when I have no energy I try to do as much as I possibly can while also not being too hard on myself if I don't.

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