My Psychologist’s Suggestions

Information about depression and other related health issues (includes medications).

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My Psychologist’s Suggestions

Postby bartelby » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:28 pm

I was diagnosed with major depression, ADHD, SPD and anxiety a few years ago and I’ve been using medications ever since. Medications that don’t seem to be helping a lot. Today, I’ve started my psychotherapy for my depression treatment. Actually, I know I should have started way earlier, but you know, I’ve been busy.
Writing or Talking

For the last few years, I’ve been talking in my head, imagining sitting in front of a psychologist and talking to her. Indeed, four years ago I decided to get an appointment to start my depression treatment, but I was in a foreign country and I didn’t know if he/she would speak English and if it would be beneficial for me. So, I started writing instead of talking. But let me tell you this: Writing and talking; two different things.

When you talk to a psychologist about your feelings, about your life, you will get positive feedback. When you write about your feelings, no matter how good you pretend to be a shrink, you tend to criticize yourself. And after a while, your writings will solely consist of blaming, shaming and cursing. This is one of the symptoms of depression: “Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness” When you feel so low of yourself, you can’t expect to find the right answer within you.

Of course, there is a part in you, in me, in all of us that can make everything better. But if you are in a depression, you might need a bit of help to get that part of you out in public. Because no matter what you’ve been through, that part is still alive. And you know what? There are people actually missing that part of you. I remember being an active, funny, extrovert child but I can’t remember when I became the person I am right now. Something on the way changed me. Therefore, I don’t remember when my depression began.
My Psychologist’s Suggestions to Me

After a brief introduction and history of my depressiong treatment into the first three minutes of my appointment, I started talking about my depression. Right now, my biggest problem with depression is focusing. I can’t focus on anything other than sleeping. When I start reading a book, after only one page, I throw it away. I start playing an online game, I quit in 5 minutes. Sometimes I play chess but I keep losing because of simple mistakes. I want to study for my mid-term exams, I start reading a poem and I can’t even finish reading a poem without losing my focus. And when I lose my focus, I just start doing something else. I start talking to someone on Whatsapp or Messenger, I surf on the net, etc. What I mean is, I feel it hard to do stuff.

Instead of doing stuff, I feel like sleeping the whole day. Sometimes I sleep 20 hours a day. Let me tell you guys; that’s not a life to live. I sleep because I don’t want to do anything else. You know, I have to read a book. I know I have to. But when I start reading, I just don’t care and leave it. I procrastinate.

Not being able to do stuff naturally leads me to a depressing mood. I’m sure you can relate to this. There’s a bunch of stuff you need to take care of that you’ve been neglecting for so long and it bothers everyone. Even you. But you still keep not doing that. You just don’t care, or you don’t want to. Although this makes you unhappy, depressed or distressed, you don’t feel like doing it.
Circle of Happiness

Now, here’s what my shrink told me about this. It is a circle of happiness or as I call; the circle of depression. Because where there is happiness, there is depression too.

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Want-Do-Be Happy.

We start with “wanting” something. Okay, so you want something. You dream about it, you plan it, you fantasize about it, etc. Do you act on it? Do you make anything to realize it? No? Then you become unhappy. The circle of happiness is broken.

We start the same way. But this time we “do” something to make it real. You fail, you may or may not become unhappy.

The problem is, we, depressed people, we don’t want anything. I told you before, I just want to sleep. But in the meantime, I have my duties piled up. So, what happens if I keep waiting until I feel like I “want” to do something? Do I need to “want” something just to do it? Maybe in a utopic land like Norway. But in our lives, we need to start “doing” stuff whether or not we want it.

There is only one thing between you and happiness. That is “doing” stuff. So, whatever you do, do something. Don’t wait until you feel like it.

Stay Active

When I told my shrink that I sleep all day and can’t do my job because of it, she suggested me two activities that would help my depression treatment and I made one addition.

Brisk walking for 30 minutes every day.

This is basically an activity that kicks me out of my house. Just says, get out and move your arse. And by brisk walking, you keep your mind away from running thoughts. If I walk slowly, I’d be thinking.

Delete your depressing music.

This made me sad. I’ve been listening to The Moody Blues, David Gilmour, Steven Wilson for a long time. But there is a solid point in this. This kind of music sucks you inside and doesn’t let you hear anything else. Makes you go on a tour in a world created by all your failures.

Cycling (my addition)

I already love cycling but I’ve been inactive for a long time. I promised my shrink to repair my bike asap and start riding regularly.

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Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 7:50 pm

Re: My Psychologist’s Suggestions

Postby derkderk » Mon May 13, 2019 4:13 am

With regards to what you described, I have very similar symptoms. I myself am bipolar. Its taken almost 20 years (with psychologists and psychiatrists) trying many medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, self analysis techniques (mindfulness) to learn how my illness behaves.

After many years of my illness, more than 90% of my tricks and treatments have been self learned/created. Psychologists and talk therapists I feel have a large gap in ability to help people. To become a licensed psychologist one must be able to graduate with a doctorate in psychology and likely other subjects. That obviously means that person does not experience the severity or personally know what we feel. So it becomes trial and error in the treatment of patience.

Improvement in my depression was from mindfulness techniques with outside influences that trigger ideas I could try. I often use a "pain tolerance" way of focusing which reduces worst of my pains

I also got rid of my "depressive" music and walk around the block as much I can. At times I sleep 15-20 hours a day but I try to be healthy, athletic and eat well. Sometimes the depression is so bad I'm like a zombie. I'll be expressionless, won't respond to people's emotions, I'd feel my rational/cognitive brain is hibernating and I have no opinion on anything and value nothing. The world becomes unimportant and dull.

To summarize what I'm saying, I have learned that there are times that fighting/treating the depression to counter it's effects can be beneficial. But there are times that the depression has past the point of treatments or activities can lift it up. Learn to localize or quarantine the depression in a separate area so we become separate while watching depression objectively and be like a parent monitoring a toddler.

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