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Jkm

Recovery

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People define mental illness recovery in their own individual ways. I think my definitions is 'Going on in spite of the illness and symptoms'.

Goals have been a great part of recovery for me. If I'm working towards something, I feel like I'm moving forward with my life. I'm not 'depression', or 'anxiety' or 'panic'.

One of the most motivational things in my life is my family. It gives me a reason to continue on, even when faced with the challenges of dealing with symptoms, med reactions, and stress created by my work environment.

I also think that I have a great support system, and can rely on it if I hit a snag. Having this forum has been a great support. Having the courage to reach out to others is very difficult when faced with lots of symptoms, but people here have lots of experience with symptoms, meds, coping with daily stressors and problems, and I've never been disappointed in the attention I've been given or the advice.

I also find it helpful to stay active, take care of my physical health, being aware of how the environment effects me, and making time for reaction. Educating myself about my illness has been the biggest factor in my recovery.

I notice that other people have lots of creative outlets, seek out spirituality, and belong to support groups.

What is working for you?

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I don't think of myself as in recovery; that makes me look back and 'what if' starts again: 'what if' the anxiety/depression takes over again and I can't get out and about.

At present I am busy with the garden and walking dogs for neighbours and friends.

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For most people setting goals is part of recovery, however small or large.  Experiencing psychiatric symptoms can take up a great  deal of your time and energy.  Sometimes this makes it difficult to engage in activities or to even figure out what you want to do.

It may be helpful to take some time and think about what's important to you, what you want to acccomplish and what you want your life to be like.   The following questions may be helpful:

>  What kind of friendships would you like to have?

>  What would you like to do with your spare time?

>  What kind of hobbies, sports or activities would you like to

    participate in?

>  What kind of work (paid or volunteer) would you like to do?

>  Are there any classes you would you like to take?

>  What kind of close relationships would you like to have?

>  What kind of living situation would you like to have?

>  Would you like to change your financial situation?

>  How would you like to express your creativity?  

>  What kind of relationship would you like to have with your  

   family?

>  What kind of spiritual community would you like to  belong to?

   It may also be helpful to look at this another way...

   *Which areas of my life do I feel most satisified with?

   *Which areas am I least satisfied with?

   *What would I like to change?

    Identifying what you would like to improve in your life will

    help you set goals.

    Break goals down into smaller more managable goals, that are realistic and attainable.  Start with short-term goals that are likely to be achieved.

   Focus one one goal at a time.  Get support in working on goals.  Other people's ideas and participation can be invaluable.  Don't be discouraged if it takes longer to attain a goal than expected.  This happens. If your first attempt doesn't work, change strategies.

Planning Steps:

   Define the goal you want to work on.

   List 3 possible ways to achieve the goal.

   Evaluate the pros and cons for each possibility of achieving

   your goals.

   Choose the best way to achieve your goal.

   Plan the steps for achieving your goal. Who will be involved?

   What will be needed?  What is the time frame?  What

   resources will be needed?  What problems might come up?        

   How can they be overcome?

   Set a date to evaluate your plan.  Focus on the positive.

   What has been achieved?  What went well?  If you goal

   hasn't been achieved, revise your plan or set up another goal.

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I think for some people recovery is a term they can use, but I think for a lot of people with mental illness, remission is a better word. I have still never hit either unfortunatly. I have seen people who have recoverd, and who have been in remission for a number of years...man I would love to get there someday.

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MCUK,

               :hearts:  Recovery is different for all of us.  With depression is kind of hard at times to stay focused on goals, as the lack of motivations can be so powerful.  How do you deal with this?

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I deal with motivation by making lists of chores each day; ticking them off means I can see what I really do achieve.  On my bad days I curl up in the warm and doze.  But those days are getting less thank goodness!  

:wave: MCUK - nice to have you on Board  :grinning:

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Well, I'm going in spite of  having depression, medical problems, sick kids, financial problems, and now, work problems..  LOL!  If you going to preach it, you gotta practice it.  My Dad died on top of it all, and I'm feeling aboout as slowed-down as a depressed person gets.  I know that this is the time to eat better, exercise, call my sopports, relax, practice relaxation exercises, tkae the meds, and pray it all settles down.

We have to hang on to hope.  It didn't get messed up in a minute and it's going to take some time to get straightened out.

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I've looked on this board, I've thought of writing on it, but to me, this post signifies the death of the old me.  Good bye to the Kim who questions every decision she makes.  Good bye to pleasing everyone else.  Good bye to thinking I am horrible and deserve every crappy thing in life because I am a failure.  I believe all that for so long, I never thought I would think or be any different.  But today, as I write, I feel empowered in my life.  I feel strong.  I know my life is in my hands.  Every decision is mine to make.  I do not fear trying, or getting out there in the world.  I do not fear myself.  Recovery?  I think of it as a new way of living.  Surrendering my life to a higher power and concentrating on today and what makes me happy.    My relationship has grown and gotten better.  I feel like a different person.  I feel as if I'm the person I've always wanted to be.  To me, this is recovery.  This is the new Kim.

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Yes, this is a very interesting question!

I define my recovery by my persistence in pursuing my goals in life. Of course, I had to identify them first...... Once I realized what I wanted from this world, I started believing that I wasn't just here to take up space and use up its oxygen. One of the major causes of my depression was that I was 'just going through the motions' with everything. I just continue to refuse to do that anymore, and day by day the sadness, fatigue and irritability seems to slowly get better.

Of course I suffer setbacks now and again, but I've found that the way I deal with them has a big effect on how I feel.

What really makes me happy is to continue learning about myself and others, and to experience new things in life. Just feeling this way (occasionally mind you) gives me an internal measure of my progress.

David

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i guess it's a long way still, for me, to the road of recovery. well that's how i feel. have been skirting around this thread for a while now, and feel i'd like to know an answer to this for myself, but still i don't really know what recovery would mean for me. maybe this is because i still feel so far away from that, and like just started to count my losses and wanting to pick myself up from the bottom of my pit.

i don't know about goals right now, well most things seem too far away. but what jackie said about working towards something, and feeling a movement, and the hope for moving forward, and not _being_ my depression, anxiety and stuff... being more than that, other than that - i hear something resound to that, in me, when i listen.

pretty confused still, sorry.

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oh and welcome to the boards, MCUK and David! :hearts:

(sorry... forgot my manners... :bump: )

glad you found your ways to DF here, and i hope it will be helpful for you, and that you'll go your ways on the road of recovery :)

best wishes!

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Interesting topic...define recovery...

While I may not be completely recovered as I still resort to some bad habits once in awhile, I can't believe the change in my life from  March of last year (2004) when I first starting posting on DF.

At that time I had trouble getting out of bed each day; little motivation to exercise; and no hope for the future.

The biggest difference is now I can see a future worth living for.

That one phrase sums it up for me "a future worth living for."

What helps a lot is a job that I like a lot and a new found appreciation of myself.  I don't have any support groups and I have not gone to meetings of any kind.  It's been a gradual process of learning to like what I have always had.  

Me.

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Excellent feeling after being in the depressed mode, Lyle!

Any steps one takes towards feeling well is recovery.  Sounds like you've made peace with yourself.  Work is the glue that holds me together, too.  Having to get up in the morning structures my day.  Using what skills I possess helps my self esteem.

I know that part of my recovery is getting over this attitude of feeling 'sick' from the depression and accepting that there will be days that I'll feel blah, but know that this will pass, too.   :hearts:

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My recovery is defined by the knowledge that after being sick unto death, I have tools and skills I can rely on in times of struggle.  I have more reasonable expectations and true unconditional love for myself and others.  I analyze and look deeply into my own perceptions before accepting them, neglecting neither my intellect or emotions.  For me, unconditional love is the key.

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Great stuff! I agree with Orion that it is definitely difficult to find energy to do some of this stuff due to being depressed. But I also think that if Orion just reads it over and over it may trigger a sort of hope and then some inspiration and then some energy to start to overcome the depression; baby steps. I currently have some energy to do this stuff but I am still too anxious and can't concentrate too much at one task too long .. well for me ... I have saved the contents and will also be doing baby steps.

Edited by theguy

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Wonderful topic to address!

My goal at the moment is to be more active socially by saying "yes" to invitations, rather than declining because I know the social situaltion may be difficult for me to handle. It's already resulting in some stronger renewed friendships. I gradually want to take the initiative and do some of the inviting....

Financially, I'm learning to be more independent and informed - of course, being recently divorced, I don't have too much of a choice. Still, I'm proud of the progress I'm graduallly making....

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I'm glad I found this forum. Recovery to me is feeling normal - being able to do chores around the house without feeling like I'm forcing myself to do it or not doing it at all (which is usually the case). It's also getting a feeling of being bored and actually doing something about it, like calling a friend or visiting a friend. Waking up in the morning and not dreading the day ahead. It really is a wonderful feeling and I am very grateful when I do feel 'normal.' I have been there and it's been great, however, I always seem to slip back. Now is one of those times. I am feeling sorry for myself. It's Xmas Eve and I have 1.5 hours to go to the foodstore and buy the items for the gathering that I don't want to go to tomorrow.

I broke down in tears while reading through this forum. I'm hoping that will catapult me into doing something about this. I chose the username Naturally for 2 reasons, first is the old 70s song, Alone Again, Naturally (how pathetic) and the second is because I would love to discover that my depression stems from a simple vitamin or mineral deficiency. I do know that it is probably not that simple and that it will take a lot of work to get out of this, but hope is still there for the 'cure'. I think many of you will completely relate to this. While shopping for cheese and pepperoni, I plan to buy vitamins and minerals from some research I have done. Wish me luck.

I know I am babbling now and still crying, but I do have some hope after reading the entries in DF. Thanks for being there.

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I'm glad I found this forum. Recovery to me is feeling normal - being able to do chores around the house without feeling like I'm forcing myself to do it or not doing it at all (which is usually the case). It's also getting a feeling of being bored and actually doing something about it, like calling a friend or visiting a friend. Waking up in the morning and not dreading the day ahead. It really is a wonderful feeling and I am very grateful when I do feel 'normal.' I have been there and it's been great, however, I always seem to slip back. Now is one of those times. I am feeling sorry for myself. It's Xmas Eve and I have 1.5 hours to go to the foodstore and buy the items for the gathering that I don't want to go to tomorrow.

I broke down in tears while reading through this forum. I'm hoping that will catapult me into doing something about this. I chose the username Naturally for 2 reasons, first is the old 70s song, Alone Again, Naturally (how pathetic) and the second is because I would love to discover that my depression stems from a simple vitamin or mineral deficiency. I do know that it is probably not that simple and that it will take a lot of work to get out of this, but hope is still there for the 'cure'. I think many of you will completely relate to this. While shopping for cheese and pepperoni, I plan to buy vitamins and minerals from some research I have done. Wish me luck.

I know I am babbling now and still crying, but I do have some hope after reading the entries in DF. Thanks for being there.

Hi Naturally,

Any results from taking vita-mins or minerals?

The only benefit I've seen is from magnesium and calcium, and VITamin a&d (that they add to milk).

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Hi Hope4Life,

Thanks for replying. I'm actually taking L. acidophilus and B. longum (normal gut bacteria) and 1.5 g of melatonin at night. I actually feel normal-I can't believe it.

I was very desperate over xmas - actually wrote 'goodbye notes'. I did take all kinds of vitamins and minerals in my time of desperation then stopped because I didn't want to just blindly start stuffing myself with vitamins/minerals thereby introducing too many variables to determine what works for me. I did what all people struggling with depression (and doctors) say not to do - I went off my meds without doctor supervision. I have been on them for 10 years. [side note and something to think about: Did you know that 95% (my statistics not based on much) of the pharmaceutical meds out there have an unknown mechanism of action?] I just wanted out of the depression, and believe that naturally is the way to go. For anyone reading this, PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLISH LIKE ME AND GO OFF YOUR MEDS UNLESS YOUR UNDER THE CARE OF A DOCTOR (naturopathic or traditional). PLEASE KNOW THAT I AM NOT ENCOURAGING ANYONE TO GO OFF THERE MEDS - IT CAN BE FATAL. It was scary, and I think I went through a hypomanic phase for about 2-3 weeks (I came off Effexor and Wellbutrin). It's scary because I worry about relapse, but after my 'close call' over xmas, I'm determined to beat this depression.

I've read a lot of published papers on mercury (a neurotoxin) from dental amalgam, and decided to have my fillings removed (planned for 23 Feb06). I've also read up on the 'yeast connection', hence the reason I'm taking L. acidophilus and B. longum. If I remember correctly, L. acidophilus produces tryptophan which is an amino acid that may aid in alleviating depression. It also repopulates your normal gut bacteria, aids in nutrient absorption, and controls yeast overgrowth). I read 1 journal abstract about melatonin - it was a very small study, maybe 20-30 people - they found that evening melatonin levels in patients with major depressive disorder were significantly lower that the control subjects, hence the reason I'm taking melatonin at night. I've also read up on orthomolecular medicine/psychiatry. I've also seen much information on how acupuncture, yoga and meditation aids in alleviating depression (I haven't done this recently, but I know in the past, it has helped me). I guess I'm trying to say that I'm not doing this blindly and have supportive friends with whom I discuss what I am doing, and I watch for and talk about any signs of depression.

I have an appointment with a naturopathic doctor in 2 days to discuss a nutrition/detox program needed to remove the mercury from my system. I'm also going to discuss orthomolecular psychiatry with her.

In short, I feel really good. I'm cleaning my house, I'm calling people (just to say hi) that I've been out of touch with because I've simply been to depressed to want to socialize (this is huge for me). My refrigerator is full (and full of healthy foods!). I feel like I'm back after being gone for 10 years.

I know this was a little longwinded, but I wanted to share some information to maybe give some other people hope, just a little information on alternate ways of treating depression, and let them know that maybe we don't have to live and struggle with depression for life. I can only hope that I don't relapse.

Naturally

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Hi naturally,

I'm glad to hear you feeling better, I also took meds for years but

had to stop due to abnormal blood test results,

and since that time I have been intolerant of the drugs and most vitamins, I have noticed some results from calcium vitamin a&d (from ice cream)

and liquid magnesium.

I had my mercury removed

but I don't know how qualified the guy was, so I could have exess mercury in my body, just beware of what they use as a filler, they game me composites that caused pain for weeks, and I done some internet search on the composite fillings and there somewhat questionable safe.

Hope you continue to have better days.

Daryl

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