big list of little helpers (against depression)
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23-06-2012, 04:05 PM
big list of little helpers (against depression)
hm... I don't exactly know how or where to start with this because there are hundrets of things I wanna say. And I want to say these things to help others, not for any other reason, but I will have to open up a bit and tell a few things about myself. I will not go into too much detail though.

This is pretty much aimed at those people who, like me, had or are having huge periods of depression. And looking through those threads and some posts we have tons of these people here in the forum.
I posted a few little things on the depression and anxiety thread but I think that the way I am going with what I want to talk about, deserves it's own thread.

So, as many other people, I had a really tough childhood and youth which scarred me for live and lots of times I am really still struggling with my past.
I have not been beaten by my parents or so, and that is why many would just look at me and state that there are people who have it worse. Yes, there are always people who have it worse and dealing better.
Physical abuse is not the only thing that breaks people, just saying.
Partly, I have learnt, our psychological problems come from society and how we are risen.
The other part of our psychological problems come from other sources.

My first depressive signs were around the age of 9.
At around 16 or 17 I started getting psychosomatic problems as I was surpressing my depressions since such a long time. My back was hurting all the time, my wrists started hurting a lot, headaches, I started eating lots, I got sick a lot, was nervous and shaky.

So one day I finally cracked. After work I went to the doctor and had a breakdown.
A few months and one breakdown later I found myself in therapy (talked about it in the other thread). It was a six week program that did not help me but at least I had the time to think about stuff.

Now the "get over it part"
I am 28 now, which means that I am depressive since 19 years. I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. By now it is so low that I can live a normal live and I learnt to identify when a bad episode starts, in these cases I am happy to have my husband who is very loving and caring and knows exactly how to deal with me and how to get me out of it when I find myself helpless.
It does not happen a lot anymore, that I am helpless when I am depressive, because by now I've learnt a few tricks to snap myself out of it.

What I find very annoying is the statement "get over it" because it is always used in a very negative way, annoyed voice and face.
Everyone deals the way they do. Some never find the ressources to deal, I did at some point and call myself lucky but some people just need a bit of help to "get over it", not just a stupid statement.

So here my big list of little helpers that helped and help me deal on a dayly basis. A few of them I stated in the other thread, just making it a full list here.

Online forums: Yes indeed. In the beginning it feels weird to read the stories and worries and problems of other people but within a short time you find a lot of yourself in other people's posts. You start asking, wondering, cheering for others. You find ressources that help other people to get better and consider using similar ones. You get to talk to people who understand you because they have the same problem. When you make a step to the better, that might seem insignificant for an outsider but is huge for you, people on these kinds of forums are super happy for you and they share. These forums are not only to cry around, they are to share the bad and the happy times. Helped me a lot. Only thing you have to be kinda picky, I don't think all forums of this type are good for you, and you might slide into the wrong type.

Ressources: Finding positive things that help you feel good. If you like art, have a really nice picture with you that you can just pull out your pocket when you start feeling bad. If you like to smell nice things, have a little of that aroma with you. If you are in love, have a pic or a love letter of your hun with you. It's supposed to be small things that you can carry with you.

Those who need pain: Try to get down a notch from whatever you are doing right now. I am not going into detail because I don't wanna look like the person that shows you how to hurt yourself but I remember my therapist explaining in group therapy that it is the little steps, so if you need pain you do something that at least does not leave you with wounds or in any bad physical state.

Notes to yourself: I liked the notes, the little post its that I put on my drawer wall. Just collect little nice things and write them down. Each gets its own postit or so. Things you like, things you are good at, things you enjoy. Just write them down and keep them where you can see them. I made them stick to my wall, but if you don't want that, you can just keep all the little notes in a small box or in a pile that you can just pick up and look through.

Hobbies: If you don't have a hobby, find one. Anything you like just do it. This makes you produce endorphines, your "happy hormones". It does not have to be something expensive. If you like music, turn it on, start dancing. If you like sports, go for a run outside (just don't overdo it). If you like cooking, invite your family and cook them a huge dinner.

Meditation: There are very easy beginner excercises that everyone can do and will help to clear your mind in moments when you can't bear to hear your thoughts anymore. If you need some specific ones, pm me, because I am not going into great detail about it. But I found it very useful to me when I got anxious phases and when I "saw no light" anymore. Helps to look at stuff calmly and experiment.

Find yourself: Think about yourself and what you want and who you are. Find out what you want and what of those thing are realistically reachable for you. Start becoming who you are and stop acting. First inside your own walls and once you are confident enough, show yourself as who you are. Start working on the things you want (the realistic ones of course).

Now another thing I wanted to say. A lot of our mental problems are actually created by society. Society puts certain norms on us and when we are pushed out of that norm too much we can end up with mental problems.
For example, as I know from hubby, in Romania it is normal that people of our age group, grew up being beaten badly. In countries like Turky or Egypt it is normal that young kids get married. In the poorer African places it is normal to grow up without dayly food or even a table to put food on. In China it is normal to be cencored strictly. In America it is normal to be fed constant fear by the government.
People just deal with these things because society taught them how to deal with exactly those things.

So in my case it would have been normal to be slapped when I was a kid, but it was not normal to receive constant psychological pressure and terror and it was not normal to be as poor as we were (not enough food, always second hand clothes, etc). So these things were part of my problem until I got some perspective. Other things I have never even learnt, like show and express emotions properly, so I am 28 years old and still learning how to do this.


Please feel free to comment or add more stuff to the list.

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23-06-2012, 04:08 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
(23-06-2012 04:05 PM)Leela Wrote:  Now another thing I wanted to say. A lot of our mental problems are actually created by society. Society puts certain norms on us and when we are pushed out of that norm too much we can end up with mental problems.
However, depression is often a medical problem, treatable with pharmaceuticals.

Self-help is all well and good, but I suggest talking to your doctor, too.

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23-06-2012, 04:50 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
Well in my case no medicine was needed although I tried antidepressiva twice. They just made me feel dizzy and hungry so I stopped using them.
I was at my doctor and at therapists and under observation in hospital twice.

They called it a post traumatic stress syndrome first. Later on they changed their opinion and since then every terapist told me the same about borderline personality disorder, which sounds like I am nuts, but i am not (haha, sounds nuts).
But I have refused medication ever since and gotten better without.

But I aggree, that it might be treatable with medication. Might be hormonal inbalance or something like that, in such cases absolutely. But that is why you get checked from head to toe once you try to get help.

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23-06-2012, 04:56 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
(23-06-2012 04:05 PM)Leela Wrote:  Other things I have never even learnt, like show and express emotions properly, so I am 28 years old and still learning how to do this.

Leela, you would be astounded how many people far older than 28, haven't even begun to learn to do this! You're lucky you have such great instincts and can extrapolate so much information from your life and apply it to getting your shit together; many aren't that self aware.

You may have something there about societies' "norms" and being pushed out of them too far causing mental issues. I might call this culture shock, but what you are talking about is not on as broad a scale... it's much more subtle... very personal. I would say it hits closer to home and I think it starts with the family dynamic.

Mental issues are tough to deal with completely on an objective level alone... as Chas suggested, it might be good to work with a doctor if you feel unable to clearly make progress on your own. A consultation couldn't hurt and if one doctor doesn't feel right, you can always have a consultation with another... kind of like shopping around. Frankly, I wouldn't choose a doctor any other way.

Ha- I love your big, little helpers; fantastic... all good support systems to help maintain control of one's self. Thumbsup

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23-06-2012, 05:14 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
oh yes, the doctor shopping is important in my opinion.

The first therapist after the first hospital was a desaster. i went there twice and not again because I hated her style of being too pushy when I did not want to talk.
Once I found a therapist who was pretty nice but I did not feel like we are going anywhere when I talked to her a few times. I felt it was wasted time because all she did was pretty much mirror my thoughts, and I knew my thoughts already.

My best therapy was really, meeting my hubby. We just told each other pretty much everything and we talked about these things a lot (meaning about the things we told each other).
That was the best talk therapy I could get. Not judgemental, not pushy, nothing. Just pure acceptance and availability on both sides. Smile I would like if everyone could have such a partner

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23-06-2012, 05:25 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
Identifying behavior and stopping it is an important step.

Also finding somebody to listen to you, and stop you when you are wrong is an important thing too.

Personally I always use my friends as people I can check my ideas against, and they'll always let me know when I've gone too far into out space. Learning not to trust my emotions and thoughts led me to the point were putting those ideas and thoughts on trial actually helped me, but I had to unlearn that being wrong was a bad thing.

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23-06-2012, 06:35 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
(23-06-2012 05:14 PM)Leela Wrote:  Not judgemental, not pushy, nothing. Just pure acceptance and availability on both sides. Smile I would like if everyone could have such a partner
Oh, would that it were so. From your mouth to God's ear. Rolleyes

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23-06-2012, 08:05 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
(23-06-2012 04:05 PM)Leela Wrote:  I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Hello borderline person, decades-long manic depressive here. ... I hear you make an excellent Irish Soda Bread. Wink

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23-06-2012, 08:35 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
My husband has bi-polar disorder, I'm well aware of the ups and downs of mental illness. In addition to your helpful hints, a good way to see how you actually are doing is to see what people around you that you trust think, having a good support circle is number one to living healthy.

Thanks for sharing your story. Smile I hope it can help others relate and get help, too. It takes guts to put yourself out there.
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23-06-2012, 09:16 PM
RE: big list of little helpers (against depression)
(23-06-2012 08:35 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  My husband has bi-polar disorder,

Bipolar is euphemistic bullshit, manic depression is descriptive. Wink




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