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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Depression

Posted by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:26 AM
  • 22 Replies
There are things every 1 of us can do if you suffer from depression to help mitigate the power of the depressions the clutches in on you.

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-Exercise (any amount is good but ideally you should get at least 30 min on most days),
-make healthy food choices (see http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/) & practice good sleep hygeine (get enough sleep, go to bed & get up at the same time every day). Try to spend some time outside daily, especially when it is sunny! Also keep a journal-why? Because it is a tangible proof to yourself you've been here before and it ended..and it will this time if you bear with it!
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by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:26 AM
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JavaLadybug2
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:47 AM
Published: Wed March 7th, 2007 By: Laurie Meekis Category: Mental Health

Depression can be so overwhelming that even the smallest task can seem daunting. For the outsider that has never experienced what depression feels like, it is hard to understand why someone with depression can't just simply get over it. If it was that easy to do, it would be done. For most battling with this illness, and it is an illness no matter its cause, it is often a daily struggle to even function. Many people are helped by the myriad of strong medicines available for treatment, although sometimes it takes a lot of false starts and stops to find the one that will work for a particular person. Others find help in various kinds of group or individual therapies. Whatever works for you, grab it and run with it. The point is to feel better so you can function, contribute to and enjoy life again. Here are some simple ideas to help you cope.

1. BEGIN SMALL.

The standards you have lived by before the onset of depression or the expectations you have of yourself or others have of you, may not apply when you are in a depressive state. Allow yourself to begin small. For someone suffering from depression, what seems like nothing to others is a huge accomplishment for a depressed person. Be proud of each small accomplishment for what it is in and of itself. Don't look at the whole big picture. That can be too overwhelming and facing that may be too much for you to handle. Break a task down into parts and then say ,"Hey I did that, good for me." Allow yourself that self praise. For example if you have mounds of housework to do and you can't face it all, pick one thing to do. It might be going around the house picking up all the dirty laundry, or taking the garbage out or even just getting out of bed to take a shower. What ever it is acknowledge it to yourself as a good thing. Say "I did it!" As you get stronger or on better days you can expand those tasks. Don't downplay even the smallest accomplishment. When you are feeling like this, baby steps are big steps.

2. BLESSINGS OR HAPPINESS JOURNAL

Try a blessings or happiness journal. Sometimes the thought of writing itself can be too much so instead use a pad of paper or a bound journal book and each day when getting up or before bed or even both if you are up to it, look around and write down things you are grateful for. Even the most minor things count but so do the major ones. Today I am grateful for the ability to read, to see, to walk, to sit up, to have a phone to answer , to have clean clothes, to talk to someone and so forth. It could be a small accomplishment you are grateful for being able to do that day. The ideas are endless but you may be surprised to find how much you have to be happy about even in the worst situation. There is always someone worse off than you for any given subject, so count your blessings. You may only write a few simple lines or find yourself repeating the same things for awhile but you may also begin to see the world around you in a different light. Looking back and seeing what you have written can be very enlightening too. Keep the journal where you sit or sleep with a pen or pencil tucked in to or attached to it. You might find it to be something to hold onto when you are feeling really lost , but only write positive comments in it. Nothing is too trite to be happy about. Every little thing counts.

3. REGULAR JOURNAL

If you like to write, begin a journal. In this you can write everything you are feeling and experiencing, good or bad. It can be a compilation of thoughts or a recording of events or a place to write poetry or lyrics that reflect what you are thinking or feeling. It can be place to jot down a thought or copy down someone else's words that inspire you. It can be a place to vent what you may not be able to verbalize out loud. It is a place to record what is important to you or annoying to you. Whatever you feel like writing, it is your place to explore yourself without fear of judgment, failure or criticism. It doesn't matter what your writing style is or isn't or how well or poorly you spell or write. The point is to begin to find out who you are for you. You may never wish to look back at it again or it may become a way to understand yourself and your depression better and begin to deal with it from the inside. It can provide great insight that only putting it in written or spoken word can do. If you don't want to write a journal, consider recording a verbal one as an alternative to writing.

4. EXERCISE

I am not talking about running a marathon or trying to get into the Olympics. I am talking small stuff and then work your way up from there. For a depressed person the very idea of even moving can be too much with which to deal. So consider all and any movement as exercise and do it. It might be walking around the house five times or walking up or down a flight of steps once. Remember in this too, small steps count. Everything does. You might not even want to leave your seat or bed and getting up to move may count or doing simple exercises like arm exercises. The more you do, the more you will begin to realize that you can. Maybe in the long term for you to be running that marathon will be the ultimate sign you are doing better but to begin, make the tiniest movement important and be proud of yourself for that. To you it may be a big step no matter what anyone else thinks or says, allow yourself that as a step in the right direction.

5. DO FOR OTHERS

Sometimes doing something for someone else may be just the ticket to give your self esteem and sense of self worth a boost. Make a phone call to someone to brighten their day, maybe to someone who is alone or hurting too, maybe a fellow depression sufferer you met in group or a friend or relative who means something to you. Send a handwritten note or an email to a friend. Do something you specialize in like baking cookies for someone who needs cheering up or potting a cutting from a plant you have or making a card or a painting or offering a skill you have to help around someone's work, home or school. It can be tiny or big according to your degree of function or dysfunction with depression but it will get you away from just thinking about yourself even if only for a few moments of the day. The more positive strokes you put out, the more that will come back to you and maybe lighten your mood some.

6. ASK FOR HELP

We are all taught that we need to be self sufficient. Helping others is seen as good but too often helping yourself is seen as negative. People like to be seen as all knowing and all doing to the best of their abilities but sometimes you have to ask for help. We are so afraid to admit we might not be able to do it all ourselves, but we are human beings, not robots and in something in everybody's life we will need help. You are not weak in asking for help, you are a person.

7. DO SOMETHING CREATIVE.

This isn't for a contest, unless you want to enter one. It is to do something worthwhile and productive. No one is going to judge its' merit or style. It is just an expression of you. Get a child's colouring book and colour a page. It is surprising how soothing and therapeutic that simple little thing is. Do a drawing or a painting of something you see or feel. It is yet another way to get some of that feeling you have bottled up inside, out of you. Plant a plant or tend one that has been neglected and watch what your care can do for another living thing. Get some kids clay and make shapes or take your feelings out on the clay. If you are proficient in this go a step further and dabble in real artist's or craftsman's clays. Make something out of wood or just go bang a few nails to get what is inside of you out. Create something.

8. LISTEN TO MUSIC OR MAKE MUSIC

Music can set a mood or reflect one. Depressed people will often withdraw into silence. External stimuli can be too much for an emotionally overtaxed person to handle. Music can help relieve some of the extreme withdrawal depression can cause. If your normal music is something very energetic or loud and is too much to listen to, don't shut yourself off completely. Pick something that doesn't carry such an emotional impact on you and try listening to it as background noise. Pick something classical or soft pop or musical renditions of songs you like. Even prerecorded sound tapes of nature can be helpful. Music can be a release. Songs with emotional meaning for you can be a good way to get tension out of your system, but be careful, they can also bring you down, particularly if they remind you of external situations that agitate your depression.

Try playing a musical instrument. It doesn't matter how proficient you are or are not at playing it. Just the physical act of picking it up and doing it is an accomplishment when you can barely function.

9. TALK TO SOMEONE

There are so many options here. Stepping outside of the self contained world of depression can be too much to handle, but we are social creatures. Holding everything inside of us when it is too much to deal with creates emotional overload which feeds into the depression.

If you can't handle one on one interaction try going online to find a chat room. You can pick one about something you have an interest in or another is to find one dealing with mental health issues. You will discover you are not the only person suffering from this and you are not alone. People in your physical everyday life may not be able to grasp what this illness called depression is, but those who have gone through it or are going through it may have answers to your questions. They may provide a sympathetic ear or eye in this case.

There may be available groups to go to where you can talk to others to see how they handle depression. Start attending something like this once every other week or once a week to start and that in itself will be a major accomplishment for you.

10. GET INVOLVED

Try anything that interests you from garden groups, game evenings, church, volunteering at a local school or food bank, helping someone learn to read, a book club or poetry group. Anything positive will help. Whatever gets you out at a level you are comfortable with is a step in the right direction. It might be good to do something that doesn't involve a long term commitment but allows you to be there when you can be or are up to it. Don't put too much pressure on yourself because that alone can be overwhelming or make you fail. Do it because you like it, it gets you out and in contact with other human beings. Choose something that makes you come out of yourself a bit but doesn't overtax your already overloaded inner self.

It has been said that depression is anger turned inwards. There are also theories that people with depression have a chemical imbalance in their brains. Whatever treatment works for you, stick with it, but in the meantime try one or two of these ten ways to help yourself. Depression is a struggle at it's best and a battle at it's worst, but maybe you can arm yourself with one of these ideas to help you cope. Whatever small or large step you take, acknowledge yourself and your accomplishment. You have to start with baby steps before you can run and these ideas may help you begin to find your footing again.
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:51 AM
1 mom liked this
But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P

I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.
romalove
by SakePrincess on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:54 AM


Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P

I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.

My teen was in a depression for about three years.  She did not and could not recognize it.  She fought help and believed, because of the depression, that how she was was how she was supposed to be.  I can't tell you how bad the darkness was.

I finally convinced her to take some antidepressant medication and to have therapy.  The difference in her in a two month period is amazing.  Being on the medication has been the only way to help her through.

I don't think medication should be taken easily and lightly but for some it is life-saving.  It's not about effort.

purpleducky
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:56 AM

And some people do exercise and eat right and still suffer from depression. 

Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P

I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.


Megan11587
by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:58 AM

*Raises hand*  

If I could go without pills, I would.

Quoting purpleducky:

And some people do exercise and eat right and still suffer from depression. 

Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P

I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.



JavaLadybug2
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:09 AM
I wanna make this absolutely clear at this point I am NOT against anybody taking the medicine that they need if that is what going to help them out of depression

Quoting romalove:


Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P



I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.

My teen was in a depression for about three years.  She did not and could not recognize it.  She fought help and believed, because of the depression, that how she was was how she was supposed to be.  I can't tell you how bad the darkness was.

I finally convinced her to take some antidepressant medication and to have therapy.  The difference in her in a two month period is amazing.  Being on the medication has been the only way to help her through.

I don't think medication should be taken easily and lightly but for some it is life-saving.  It's not about effort.

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JavaLadybug2
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:10 AM
You're right some do this is not about a blanket statement where some do and some don't know some people do do that and still suffer I'm just saying for those who have this problem and that is not a part of their life if they added in now during this depression it will help

Quoting purpleducky:

And some people do exercise and eat right and still suffer from depression. 

Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P



I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.


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purpleducky
by Ruby Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM

I understand where you are coming from. I just wanted to address the anonymous person.

Quoting JavaLadybug2:

You're right some do this is not about a blanket statement where some do and some don't know some people do do that and still suffer I'm just saying for those who have this problem and that is not a part of their life if they added in now during this depression it will help

Quoting purpleducky:

And some people do exercise and eat right and still suffer from depression. 

Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P



I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.



CorpCityGrl
by Platinum Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM



Quoting romalove:


Quoting Anonymous:

But exercise and eating right is just too hard and popping pills is easy. :-P

I totally agree with you but people don't like putting effort in to things, even when it means better results.

My teen was in a depression for about three years.  She did not and could not recognize it.  She fought help and believed, because of the depression, that how she was was how she was supposed to be.  I can't tell you how bad the darkness was.

I finally convinced her to take some antidepressant medication and to have therapy.  The difference in her in a two month period is amazing.  Being on the medication has been the only way to help her through.

I don't think medication should be taken easily and lightly but for some it is life-saving.  It's not about effort.

I'm glad to hear that your teen is doing so much better!

I find that my DH is the in same boat your teen way - he is in a very depressive state and it's getting worse and worse and he is fighting help and firmly believes that he's supposed to just be like this now.  There are weeks where he doesn't even talk to us in the house.

How did you convince her to go get help? 


Lunarprancer
by Betsy on Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Blah

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