I wanted to share a message of positivity. I see a lot of people here hopeless and without perspective.
Our conditions vary greatly but they are all terrible, daunting and destructive to our lives in their own ways.
I recently saw a post saying there is no way to escape from depression.
It will stick to you like superglue that’s for sure but I would not say there is no way to get rid of it. I came out of a very deep depression a while ago. Still working on the rough edges though. I suffered from suicidal ideation for a long time. I self-harmed in more ways than one and I’ve had my experiences staring down mesmerized into the metaphorical abyss. But no more.
Having to deal with PFS on top of depression is horrid but I am glad I’ve had some cracks of the whip before this curveball got handed to me because I’ve painfully learned a few life lessons. I will share these for those who are in need.
Take from this what you will. Forgive me any self-help platitudes, they often really work when you really follow up on them. But there is no golden formula. Do what works for you.
Therapy could do wonders for you. It might not solve the problem at the root but it will help you get through tough times. Don’t wait for therapy to come to you, because waiting lists and intake times and diagnosis periods can be long. Don’t wait for when you are in very deep. There is always somebody with bigger problems than you, or whatever, but you are deserving of help with your problems.
Cognitive behavioral therapy specifically may help you rationalize your thoughts when you are in a state of panic or in a negative thoughts spiral. Often your thoughts are pitch black, but when analyzed you will realize that you often draw too big conclusions too soon. You can train yourself in this, but it is easier with a therapist.
Having a professional person outside of your circle of friends or family may also be a good conversation partner to talk about your problems. He may ask good critical questions that others would not dare ask. It can be very therapeutic by itself just being able to talk to such an outsider person even if it’s just once per month. It will steer you to analyze and confront your problems in a controlled, healthy and rational manner.
Seek out things that require your focus and attention, so that you cannot obsess over problems that you cannot control. This way you force yourself to live inside the moment and not think about the past or future. Things like cooking a meal, playing a videogame, reading a book, watching a movie, even if at first you don’t believe it will work, will all help reduce your depressed state. Not a self-help platitude at all, because it absolutely works. Or if you want to push it even further pick up a music instrument, or singing classes, or acting. Try out something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Nothing demands focus or attention like learning something new, or being immersed in a different world. Old dogs can still learn new tricks. Just don’t push yourself too hard. Taking the first step is only hard in your mind. Don’t think too far ahead. One foot forward, then the next.
When depressed, try doing little things for yourself that you enjoy. Depression will make you uncaring, it will make you blind to the fact that you are not doing the little things for yourself anymore, which will only make things worse. Trust me, allow yourself a little good thing once in a while. It can be as simple as taking a moment to really take in the smell of a hot meal, or adding some nice extra herbs to it. Or lighting a candle in the evening. Smell a flower. Or buying a nice snack ahead of time or that stupid thing you saw in a shop that you maybe liked but did not want to admit to yourself. Don’t deny yourself some of these things because somebody else said it was silly or corny. They matter. If you don’t know where to start just try something new, some new food or some crazy thing.
But: Stay far, far, far away from drugs or alcohol. They will always trigger depression and drag you back into it. I had one or two glasses of wine while playing a video game last week to make things cozy for myself but I plummeted back into a negative thoughts spiral soon after. Not a coincidence.
Do not isolate yourself socially. You may feel ashamed about some things or have trouble forgetting about them but you must keep in touch with friends and family. They will help you focus attention on other things away from your problems.
Do not expect too much of yourself or of others. They cannot fix your problems but they do care about you, even if they don’t always say it out loud.
Don’t just let them come to you, seek them out too. Tell them what you like about them or what they’re doing. Being nice to others will make you feel nice too. Positivity is infectious, just like negativity can be. So allow positivity to infect others so they may infect you back. If that makes sense.
Avoid (or take more distance from) bitter, mean and negative people, even if they are relatives or people you consider close ones. Maybe they don’t have the worst of intentions, but you need to make a decision about what gets to you in a bad way and protect yourself despite whatever justification they may or may not have, or whatever reason you have that makes you forgive them time and time again. It can be a tough pill to swallow to break off a connection to someone you see often, but if they truly get to you in a bad way, it will be worth it for your own sake.
Exercising is always a good idea. I used to think this was some urban myth or a marketing tactic of fitness companies, but it works. I am not going to provide all the scientific details of why exercising is good for you and which chemicals it releases in the body. It’s all over the internet. It’s proven time and time again. This works. The prospect of exercising is daunting and intimidating to many people but it is easier to pick up than you allow yourself to think. It does not need to be super-heavy or a long-term plan where you become beach-body chiseled or anything like that. You are at your own level and that’s okay. You don’t need equipment either. Just start doing something easy, like lunges, squats, belly crunches, maybe sprinting outside. Pushups usually come up as a classical first idea but they can be a pretty tough one to start out with, depending on the state of your body. Anyway, I promise you: You will feel better after an exercise. Always.
Start caring about your body again, despite whatever shortcomings you consider your own body to have, one way or another it is the source and conveyor of all your happiness. Damaged or not, treat it like a sacred temple. Despite losing your appetite, eat enough meals per day, and try to eat varied and healthily. Know when to take a break.
You could also consider visiting this website only one or two times per week. Obsessing over your condition will not make it go away. There is advice but also much panic and helplessness to be found here. This can be infectious or send you on an obsessive runaway thought-train. It is sometimes best to take a break and focus on other important things.
You can influence more things than you are capable of seeing and take control in more ways than you know. Always remember that the little things will help you more than you realize.