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What Helps Your Depression Most? #2


Trace

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390 members have voted

  1. 1. What have you found helps your depression most?

    • Talk therapies
    • Medication
    • Support of friends and relatives
    • Self help books
    • Support groups like DF
    • Exercise
    • Improving your diet
    • Homeopathic remedies ( acupuncture, medication)
    • A combination of all the above
    • Other ( Please list )


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What really helps me is the fundamental principle of Cognitive Behavior Psychology: that having a self-destructive philosophy of life, even unconsciously, is harmful to the human brain and especially to those predisposed to anxiety and depression.

A self-destructive philosophy is life is one that makes a person feel worthless and bad unless they are perfect or nearly so. It is a philosophy of life that teaches that one must hate oneself to motivate oneself to be worthy and good. It is a philosophy of life that teaches that it is good to hate oneself and that it is good to mentally beat oneself up with guilt over not being perfect and that it is good to be consumed with anxiety and worry in the drive for perfection or near perfection.

A self-destructive philosophy of life is one that teaches that joyless striving for perfection is the only thing that makes a person worthwhile and good. A person suffering depression and anxiety usually does not realize that he or she is trying to live a self-destructive way of life. It may be subconscious and part of their upbringing, even their parents upbringing. It is second-nature. Sometimes a self-destructive philosophy of life is tied to a distorted or brutal verious of a religion, any religion or even anti-religion.

It helps me to realize that though a destructive philosophy of life is operative in my life, that it can be resisted, fought against, triumphed over using CBT principles and practices.

Some people not predisposed to depression and anxiety can "seem" to live a self-destructive philosophy of life with impunity, although even they are negatively affected in ways they may not realize. But for those of us who are predisposed to depression and anxiety, a self-destructive philosophy of life is harmful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The secret is to love your brain all the time but especially when you don't want to because of punitive programs running in your head from your upbringing.

Did your brain just embarrass you or disappoint you? Love it now especially. Did your brain make a bad mistake that makes you want to beat it up mentally. Don't. Comfort it instead. Did your brain just scare the daylights out of you and make you want to disown it. Don't! Console it instead and tell it everything is going to be okay. Did your brain just do something that makes you so ashamed that you don't know what to do? Reach out to it in compassion and understanding. Does your brain make you scared out of your wits? Hold its hand metaphorically speaking and tell it you can get through anything together.

Did your brain just let you down in a horrible failure or multiple failures? Tell your brain how proud you are of it for all its millions of successes. Does your brain feel alone and abandoned or unappreciated? Tell it how much you love it, that you will always be there for it, that your love in unconditional.

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Honestly, nothing "professional" has ever helped me. I find it incredibly hard to change the way I perceive things, it being instantaneous and typically emotion-driven. My brain (being off the hinges) has a hard time putting itself back on them. Not to mention, I'm impossibly stubborn. I hate when psychiatrists give you pamphlets. They never help. And they're generic... impersonal. They can help the physical mechanics of your problems if you try hard enough, but they don't add any feelings of security or acceptance... or even help. A piece of paper is cold and... ultimately unhelpful if you're at your breaking point with any illness.

It may be unhealthy in the long-run, but I have an escapist attitude. I need to emerge myself in fictional worlds or become emotionally distracted. Physical intimacy helps with the latter. I also change things up continuously... so I don't get caught in the same atmosphere doing the same activity in the same location time after time. I will constantly change things. Even if that just means turning on a light I don't usually use.

Exercise can help, I'll admit. Though it can also make it worse if you have a weight or fitness problem along with the depression.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It helps me to always carry a little piece of paper on which is written the single word: "over-simplification." Over-simplification is the source of so much misery! Some aspect of myself or others is taken as the whole. And the trillions of other aspects of myself or others are forgotten or ignored as if they didn't even exist! "Lazy, stupid, no good, unpopular, ugly, failure, worthless" All these "labels" are over-simplifications, false representations of reality. No one can be "summed up" in a label without gross misrepresentation. And yet it is done all the time! It is not reality that is causing this misery, it is oversimplification, a distortion of reality!!!

"You should be good" implies that you are not good. And that is an oversimplification! "You are weak, you are lazy, you are selfish." Those are oversimplifications! No sane person would ever mistake a map for the land it simplifies on paper. But we mistake our oversimplifications of ourselves and others for reality all the time. And it creates misery, disappointment, anger.And depression and anxiety! And all because of an error in thinking: over-simplification.

So I carry I the card with the word: over-simplification. And I look it often. What am I telling myself secretly in my mind? Is it an over-simplification of reality [an error]? What is that person in my life telling me about my life in judging me or expecting me to do things? Is it an over-simplification of my reality? An error? This is so helpful to me. So helpful.

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What helps me is having something to look forward to each day. In my case, I get out of my apartment, by taking my laptop and going to the library. Since I don't have wi-fi at home, when the library closes, I go to McDonald's and use theirs.

I start my day by waking up, turning on the news, having a couple of cups of coffee, then I get dressed, and head out the door. I get to the library, and read the New York Times, Tampa Bay Times, then I get on my laptop.

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What helps my depression most is realizing that a saying of a philosopher named Dionysius is wrong. The saying is: "Any defect makes a thing bad." This saying is consciously, subconsciouly, unconsciously or barely consciously held to be true by millions of people. But it is false. A piece of dust on a great work of art does not render that work of art suddenly bad.

The saying of Dionysius is the basis of the philosophy of perfectionism: if I am not perfect or ideal, I am no good. This is an unrealsitic and destructive philosophy of life that causes unnecessary anger, disappointment, sadness, anxiety, stress and depression: I must be perfect to be good. Wrong. My parents, children, relatives, friends, spouse . . . the whole world . . . must be perfect in order to be good. Wrong. It is not the imperfections of things that cause sadness and anger and anxiety. It is our expectation that they be perfect. Our misery is self-caused and therefore can be self-healed. Alter your expectations and you alter your world. You don't have to change the world to be happy. You can change your expectations about the world, about yourself, about others and find peace of mind and joy of life again. Easier said than done. But do-able.

One does not have to be all-powerful to be strong. One does not have to be all-knowing to be wise. One does not have to be perfect to be good. This helps my depression.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For me, it's writing. I started a personal blog recently in a bid to evacuate all of the negative thoughts that had accumulated from work and relationship related anxiety. All of these deeply negative and destructive thoughts that I thought I had got rid of in the past, all came back and with a lot of force and aggression. I found it hard to sleep for more than a couple of hours and found I was crying a lot, sometimes completely spontaneously. I didn't know what to do and felt my emotions were spiralling out of control, so I started blogging. I didn't really expect to get anything from it, apart from an immediate distraction from my internal screaming, but for whatever reason, it did help me. I found it very cathartic to let loose with wild abandon, saying whatever came to my mind without the worry of what others might say. I don't always feel like writing, but I've tried to keep it as a regular thing to do as it has proved to have a calming effect on me.

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Medication definitely plays a major role in my improvement over the years but I have found other solutions that make me feel good too. I am part of a service learning community at my school and have accumulated close to 100 hours of community engagement in a semester. Volunteering makes me feel great :) I also go to the gym daily and do yoga 5 days a week.

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It's hard to say what helped me the most because of how I would become obsessed with one approach before I moved onto the next approach. So all of the approaches combined is what has kept me depression free for years now.

BUT, I would have to say the foundation of everything was when I finally fixed my nutrition and starting taking vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. All the therapy, exercise, meditation, CBT, didn't work until I finally really got my body and brain back into balance. It's also what got me off my antidepressant as well.

I exercise, meditate, challenge my destructive thoughts, and learned how to ask for help and connect with people. But I would say that if I didn't have the core root of nailing my nutrition and taking some supplements, none of that would make as big of a difference.

So my answer is nutrition.

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  • 1 month later...

Making sure I am 100% healthy, eating extremely healthy, getting the right exercise, and sleeping right.

Once I nail that down, the rest usually comes pretty easy. When I feel great, thinking positive just happens on its own.

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Riding my bicycle in the sunshine with a warm breeze on my face; taking photographs of landscapes that appeal to me and coming home to some locally caught salmon for lunch. Today I did all of that and feel truly alive. I think that being active with the things we most enjoy doing is the best form of medicine and in my case, it has an instant and lasting impact. The feeling that results is all the motivation I need to do it again another time.

Edited by FinallySeekingHelp
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  • 3 weeks later...

Realistic ideals and "rules" are valid only if one has the ability to follow them. Getting exercise can be a good ideal but not for someone who is completely paralyzed. One cannot expect or demand a man or woman who has just suffered two broken legs to immediately hop out of bed and run a Marathon. One cannot realistically expect or demand a person bedridden with the Ebola virus to care for a sick friend or needy person.

Sometimes a non-depressed person can expect or demand that a depressed person do something that would will worsen the depression and they might even stoop to using guilt to shame the depressed person into complaince: "You could if you tried harder." "If you were good enough or loving enough you could do this." It helps my depression to realize when an expectation or demand is unrealistic and not internalize those kinds of expectations and demands myself.

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What helps me most is when that part of my observing my anxiety and depression reminds that part of me drowning in them that I was "taught" that was okay and good to beat myself up mentally to achieve or worry about achieving ideals and that it was okay and good to beat myself up mentally as punishment for not achieving ideals. And that beating myself up mentally is not and never okay or good or moral or healthy. Not even beating myself up for beating myself up!!! Now I am trying unlearning those terrible "beat yourself up" skills I aquired when I was younger.

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I've never found anything to help me, not to the point where I feel happy and not anxious. I can temporarily alievate the symptoms by reading a book or watching TV, working out or keeping busy, but that's only for the time that I'm occupied. As soon as I'm done I feel lost again, that escapism never seems to carry over into the rest of my life. Sometimes I have a hard time even doing something else without some nagging worries in the back of my head that I should be doing something else or how much I have to do or I just don't really feel like doing anything other than sleeping. I'm hoping meds will be my answer soon.

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Something that might sound a bit strange, but...besides therapy....

Going to college (I'm 36)

I guess I could say I wish I had gone years ago, but years ago I wasn't ready. Now I am.

I am also working with a phenomenal therapist, and since I am a psych student, she has also become a wonderful mentor. She is my biggest cheerleader and is as excited as I am that I'm in school :smile:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Going for a long, hard and fast run as it gets the endorphins going and I always feel better. I've been a long distance runner for 33 years now and running has helped get me to where I am today. I works for me.

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Originally I had panic attacks for months, and would not take a SSRI. We tried everything- exercise, diets, supplements, therapy (I was not anxious about anything). Finally fell into depression, and got on meds.

Long story short, for what I have, meds work great and that's about all. Talk therapy doesn't heal MDD. Its genetic, runs in my family.

When I am feeling well, exercises, food, sleep all make my life in the meds that more bearable.

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