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fairylights

Functioning with Depression: Coping Strategies

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Posted (edited)

Today was the first day back in school after spring break and it has been difficult. I pretty much pretended the outside world didn't exist all through breaks and allowed myself to wallow in peace and solitude. Going back has been difficult ... all the work I haven't done and still must do has started tumbling down on me like a pile of bricks and people keep asking me questions, like "When are we going to meet up? Are you coming to xyz event? Is something wrong with you? Why aren't you saying anything?" And it's all too much, I feel ashamed and incompetent and useless and the stress is really messing me up, I just want to disappear, I want to vanish into a place where no one can find me and I don't have to feel this weight anymore. 

But since that's not an option ... how do I cope? What are some strategies you've developed just to get through the day-to-day? Because it's not ok for me to go to class and then avoid making eye contact with people much less conversation and just run back home so I can hide in bed for the next eight hours. This isn't sustainable. So what do I do? What's worked for you?

Edited by stargoon

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I am a big believer in the power of metaphors or as I like to think of them: MEDaphors.

The "pile of bricks" metaphor you invoked can be helpful.

Your depression cave can be a great place to toss (metaphorically speaking of course) the bricks one by one or many at a time.

The idea is to take charge of your psyche and be ever so clever with powerful metaphors.

Personally I try to anchor myself outside the deep, dark, dangerous depression cave.

Anyway maybe this is food for thought.

Oscar

 

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Sorry that you are having such a hard time. Having a good therapist and psychiatrist has helped me a lot. Also I've cut back on my commitments, read about depression and anxiety, and understand that it isn't a reflection on me as a person. It is an illness that I have. So I cut down on my high expectations and focus on doing one task at a time, taking one moment at a time. Plus being in this forum has also helped me.

BW

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Thanks. I have started seeing a new therapist whom I like so far (haven't been to therapy in a couple years because I just couldn't find someone I clicked with) and a new psychiatrist as well (after a two year break as well.) I just feel really hopeless right now because I had a very bad day yesterday. I went to class for which I was very underprepared though I tried to talk when I had something to add to the conversation, even though I probably sounded like an idiot. After class was over, I saw my advisor in the hallway, panicked and bolted before we could make eye contact because I haven't sent him the chapter plan I was supposed to more than a month ago because I haven't even started working on it. I ran home and cried and felt pathetic and miserable because I can't do anything right ... school is going poorly and my boyfriend won't even talk to me. 

I took an Ativan before I went to bed so that I'd have a good night's sleep at least but it was pretty disturbed and I woke up midway having the worse panic attack I've had in a week. If not even Ativan will help ward off panic attacks, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. I am going to be stuck like this until I die and it sucks because what I'm doing right now barely feels like living.

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On 3/26/2019 at 2:51 PM, BeyondWeary said:

So I cut down on my high expectations and focus on doing one task at a time, taking one moment at a time.

I cannot stress this enough.  Everything appears so distant and unattainable when we look at the bigger picture.  Break things down into smaller tasks.  It takes some practice... but holy crap does it make a world of difference.  Small successes add up and build confidence.  And before you know it, you will be minutes away from your larger goal.

Quote

I went to class for which I was very underprepared though I tried to talk when I had something to add to the conversation, even though I probably sounded like an idiot. After class was over, I saw my advisor in the hallway, panicked and bolted before we could make eye contact because I haven't sent him the chapter plan I was supposed to more than a month ago because I haven't even started working on it. I ran home and cried and felt pathetic and miserable because I can't do anything right ... school is going poorly and my boyfriend won't even talk to me.

OK... so... don't misinterpret this but, school serves a purpose and boyfriends (and girlfriends for that matter) can be fleeting.

School is important?  Yes.  School makes or breaks your future?  Hell no.  School is what YOU make of it.  Period.  So make it work for you... the best way you know how.

Boyfriend not treating you in a manner that is conducive to your mental health?  This is tough.  I'm 45 years old and, likely, the last person you want to hear this from.  But we tend to grasp onto things that are close to our ideal - even thought they fall short on a couple things.  This cycle only ends with you.  What's good enough for you?  That's the question.  Believe me.  I'm 45 and I still "settle" for things because I feel I'm not good enough.

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