new on here-looking for peer advice

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Chelsea1313
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:45 am

new on here-looking for peer advice

Postby Chelsea1313 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:56 am

Hey hey. I'm a 25 year old female and I've been suffering with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I've slowly gone downhill this year and am at the lowest I've ever been. I struggle with the simplest tasks. I have a wonderful doctor and we're working on changing up my medications and setting up a therapy appointment and all that good stuff. Anyways, I'll spare the details but I went through a very traumatic experience this weekend and now I feel like I am at absolute rock bottom. I've never reached out on a site like this so I'm pretty lost here but if anyone has advice I would love to hear it! It would be great to hear from peeps who can relate on any kind of level on things like:
What gets/keeps you motivated?
What small steps can I take to go from practically bedridden to going back to work/normal daily activities?
Activities/websites/supplements that may help with fatigue and/or overwhelming anxiety?
Not pushing loved ones away?

Any little tip or trick would be so very warmly welcomed.
I'm also not opposed to a good joke, pun, or movie/book/song recommendation!

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: new on here-looking for peer advice

Postby Spleefy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:03 am

Hi Chelsea,

Welcome. It’s great to have you here.

I’ll share some of the things that I find useful.

Motivation is a huge issue with depression. However, depression does affect everyone differently.

I had severe depression. However, I was fortunate to not be one of those people who couldn’t get out of bed or was unmotivated, so it probably gave me a little bit of an edge in eventually overcoming depression.

I still had motivation and highly ambitious… I just couldn’t utilize those qualities because the depression was a major inhibition and paralyzed me from fulfilling my goals, etc.

I also did not like staying in bed and wasting away. Living with depression, my life was already rotting away, so the last thing I wanted was to stay in bed and make it worse. However, what I think helps to raise motivation and to get out of bed is to establish a routine and to have consistency.

Sometimes, despite the difficulty, we need to do what needs to be done and force ourselves. It will hurt, but force it! This means forcing ourselves out of bed. It means forcing ourselves to do small, manageable things each day from cleaning, to making time to eat nutritious meals, exercising regularly, talking to people, and functioning.

Again, depression makes even the simplest of tasks feel like it is virtually impossible, but we must do it.

The only reason I overcame depression is because I took action everyday and got into a routine. I just did what I had to do and made no excuses for it. I had to be tough on myself because depression doesn’t give sympathy.

I was also angry for being depressed for over ten years and, quite frankly, had enough living that way. So I gave depression the finger and resolved to reclaim my life from depression and live it, with or without depression. It was actually the first step that turned a light switch on in my brain. It was this moment when I finally stopped fighting depression, trying to get rid of it, but instead decided to cohabit with it. I then decided to focus on boosting my health to override depression instead of therapy and medication to remove the depression.

Focusing on and boosting my health to overpower depression was an ingenious plan that worked for me. And the idea of cohabiting with depression instead of removing it was just as masterful. An analogy for it is this...

You and another person (depression) are both holding a shirt (your life). If you both pull the shirt, it will rip, right? But if you let go of the shirt, then the other person (depression) has it, so it cannot rip. You've stopped struggling to get the shirt back, as this would only rip it in the end. But by letting go of the shirt, the other person cannot pull the shirt and rip it. You just gained control of the situation.

In other words, I redirected my attention away from depression and onto something else--in this case, my health.

Furthermore, now that you are no longer participating in the struggle with depression, you can redirect your focus on doing something positive each day. As you gain momentum, you will naturally start doing more and more positive things, and it will get easier over time.

Diet is key. I overcame depression mostly via three things, and diet was one of them.

My diet was simple: plenty of fruit, vegetables, salads, meat, eggs, and fish each day for the omega-3 content, which is fantastic for depression.

I also removed all crap foods from my diet: no junk. No sugar. No coffee. I was strict at the time because of the depression, so I couldn’t afford to be soft or slack.

But once you overcome the depression and your brain chemistry is reestablished, you can probably get away with some garbage foods in moderation without adverse effects. I’ve put it to the test and no matter what I eat, my brain chemistry is firing on all cylinders and has never been stronger. I believe this is due to the diet I had when I was depressed.

I also drank smoothies after I ran in the morning, which consisted of fruit and vegetables with coconut water. I also added spirulina supplement to the delicious smoothie to boost nutrients.

I flooded my body with nutrients so that it had all the raw materials it needed to be healthy, such as to create adequate serotonin, etc., which contributes to our happiness.

Exercise is critical. We were created and built to be active, not live sedentary lives. So I ran 70+ kilometres a week. I literally ran the depression out of me! I ran so much that I didn’t have time or energy to be depressed lol.

The combination of a nutritious diet and exercise had VERY potent antidepressant effects—better than what you would achieve from anything synthetic.

I was also studying at the time, which kept my mind busy. It was highly stressful at times and a challenging while depressed. But, again, I knew I had to do what had to be done. I needed to keep busy, keep my mind focused, and so I chose a course that I would be happy doing. I chose something that I could utilize in my own life and possibly benefit the lives of others.

I was also a carer at the time for my uncle (still am). So looking after my uncle and enriching the lives of my grandparents was very satisfying and rewarding.

The focus was no longer just on myself, but was redirected to enriching the lives of other people. This makes a huge difference to our own lives—probably more than what many people realize.

These are the main things I did to overcome depression. I totally annihilated depression for several years. I only had one relapse a couple of years ago, which was still remarkable despite the heavy stress I was under previously, not to mention the crappy diet that I had out of laziness and probably stress.

So, once again, I used my formula of diet and exercise. This time, because I graduated, I turned my studies to the Bible.

The spiritual food was the ultimate!

As for pushing loved ones away… this seems to be common, especially with depression. I am guilty of doing it myself, time and again.

I think just by identifying and acknowledging that we do this is good start. Then we can change our ways. Try to communicate rather than pushing away. Try to lean on your loved ones rather than against them.

Behavior-modification is essential. To change our outcomes, we need to change our behavior.

Most people try to change their thoughts first so behavior follows those thoughts. However, I find it is way more effective and easier to first change the behavior and the thoughts will follow.

Furthermore, depression hijacks our thoughts, so you need to bypass it and alter the behavior to not allow depression a chance to change your mind out of doing something. Make sense?

These things work well for me. But, at the end of the day, everyone needs to find what works for them. But I do believe redirection is much more effective than resistance--at least it was in my own experience.

Everyone has different personalities, coping styles, and strategies, so hopefully others will share these with us.

I will leave you with a link that has several publications on depression. It is all Bible-based information, so it is very practical, useful, and comforting.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Chelsea1313
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:45 am

Re: new on here-looking for peer advice

Postby Chelsea1313 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:24 am

Spleefy!

I can't even begin to describe how much I appreciate you taking the time for that detailed response! I completely agree with everything you said. What stuck out the most was you talking about how redirection is the key element. I have been thinking about getting into some old hobbies and with what you were saying, I think at least starting there and then progressing towards the rest could be very beneficial. I have been working on a healthier diet as well so I'm thankful that you told me a bit about what yours looks like!

Once again, I really appreciate your response and will take all of this to heart! :)

Spleefy
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: new on here-looking for peer advice

Postby Spleefy » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:39 am

Hi Chelsea,

Yes, I strongly believe in the "redirection approach". I was always trying out different things to overcome depression. However, most approaches I tried were within the mainstream thinking and rationale: psychotherapy, medication, listening to motivation speakers or "life coaches", working, studying, keeping busy, meditation, etc.

So redirecting my attention away from depression and to my health was just an experiment. I woke up one morning and just thought of it and gave it a go. I was always thinking of new ways to overcome depression--some were based on research and others I just created as an experiment, such as redirecting.

I'm not sure if it was the actual "redirection" that worked or because I improved my health. Personally, I think putting my focus towards something other than depression was critical. But more importantly, I think I overcame the depression because I redirected my focus to my health. In other words, I optimized my health so that it became stronger than the illness--in this case, depression.

In the past, I have tried redirecting by writing poetry, studying, doing different courses, reading self-help and financial books, working on my ambitions, hobbies, etc. Although, I did these things not to redirect but just because I don't like sitting idle twiddling my thumbs. So I had to keep busy somehow and do things that brought me some pleasure. Also, I was hoping that I could acquire knowledge to do something constructive and make a success of my life--at least according to how I defined success at the time.

Sadly, these only alleviated depression but never had lasting results. Many, many times I thought I discovered the secret formula to overcome my own depression experience. But i soon realized I didn't when the motivation was gone after a few hours or sometimes after a few days.

But once I worked on my health, I knew I hit the jackpot because depression was unable to enter me ever again, despite the incredible amount of stress I endured, grief... you name it. Then when I did eventually get a relapse, I removed it within a few months using the same formula, but with the added support of God, which ultimately became my savior. It was the missing link.

The point of all this is that you really need to be open to trying new things. Think outside the box. Be open-minded. You will discover your formula to overcome depression--it is only a matter of time. No attempt is a waste because it all contributes to the "jackpot".

So I think you are on the right track with redirecting and keeping busy on other things. This will help to stop your mind dwelling on depression. Also, the hobbies will bring you some pleasure, which I think is essential.

But optimizing health is critical. Many people often neglect their health, such as by being inactive and eating poorly. Thus, they have substandard or poor health, all the while trying to remove illness. Logically I can't see how you can remove an illness if your body is sickly or in very poor shape. You can mask the symptoms with drugs and what have you, but you won't remove the illness nor have lasting effects. Why? Because the body is still sickly and malfunctioning.

So do as you planned, and give it time. Keep trying and working on new things. And please keep us updated.

Sending out lots of love and prayers to you.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

littlestarsmum
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:36 pm

Re: new on here-looking for peer advice

Postby littlestarsmum » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:29 pm

Welcome to this forum, Chelsea. Nice to meet you.
I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. I know it’s not easy to go through depression. It’s a very complex issue that deserves personal and in-depth attention. It’s good you’re getting help. You’ve already got some great suggestions here. Just take one step at a time. Look for things to do to keep your mind off of your negative feelings. Maybe you could pursue an activity, sport, or hobby that you enjoy and that makes you feel good. Physical exercise has the added benefit of helping to relieve negative emotions naturally. Remember that you deserve to feel better and you don’t need to carry your burdens alone. Take good care of yourself. Hugs & prayers!

Prycejosh1987
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 10:54 am
Location: Birmingham UK
Contact:

Re: new on here-looking for peer advice

Postby Prycejosh1987 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:05 am

Chelsea1313 wrote:Hey hey. I'm a 25 year old female and I've been suffering with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I've slowly gone downhill this year and am at the lowest I've ever been. I struggle with the simplest tasks. I have a wonderful doctor and we're working on changing up my medications and setting up a therapy appointment and all that good stuff. Anyways, I'll spare the details but I went through a very traumatic experience this weekend and now I feel like I am at absolute rock bottom. I've never reached out on a site like this so I'm pretty lost here but if anyone has advice I would love to hear it! It would be great to hear from peeps who can relate on any kind of level on things like:
What gets/keeps you motivated?
What small steps can I take to go from practically bedridden to going back to work/normal daily activities?
Activities/websites/supplements that may help with fatigue and/or overwhelming anxiety?
Not pushing loved ones away?

Any little tip or trick would be so very warmly welcomed.
I'm also not opposed to a good joke, pun, or movie/book/song recommendation!

Its weird. You are getting all the help in the world and it hasnt changed everything yet. Your holding onto a negative situation and that can leave you distraught.
Living life in its goodness and making life enjoyable can give a person motivated.
Take action and challenge your negatives.
A sound mind can help you out of anxiety, confront what makes you anxious. Excercise.
Communication can help you with loved ones, be honest, and always get the positive and negative reassurances.
You can turn the tide, And change your life. Always. :wink:


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