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#451500 - 10/28/13 12:24 AM When Depression hit and what to do?
Vedder32 Offline


Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Kentucky,U..S.A
I would like to know how each one of us combats the depression that enters into our lives. I know when mine hits, several things just go on the disabled list and I am in a funk and it takes me a while to get out of it.

The worst is the "what if's". You know what I am talking about: what if I did this, what if I said that, what if do this, and what if this never ends.

So I would like to know if you guys can lend a hand in giving advice to over come depression. I would like to know because it can give me a more logical way of overcoming it and eventually conquering it.

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#451506 - 10/28/13 12:51 AM Re: When Depression hit and what to do? [Re: Vedder32]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 245
Loc: Germany
Hey Vedder! I think it is very promising when, as you described, one is able to recognize signs of their slip into a depressive episode. That way one is able to find the tools to be able to combat it.

I feel that it really helps to have good supports- be they friends, family, therapists, etc- with whom you are able to talk to and verbalise your thoughts and worries. Often articulating them- and to another person who is not afflicted by the same worries as you- really does help "straighten" out feelings and let them be analysed and broken down. Irrationalities, such as the "what if's", suddenly become less powerful and disintegrate. These supports will also help validate the voices of hope and rationality still floating around in your mind.

I also find that taking in the advice and comments made by your supports and reminding yourself of them really helps to steer depressive and anxious thoughts and feelings back to a manageable place. You exercise an ability to override your immediate feelings and be able to rationalise and make sense of them and in the process alter your short- and long-term thoughts and feelings.

Another useful tool is the art of grounding and meditation. Be it breathing exercises, mindfulness training, physical exercise or other activities, getting into the present and calming your thoughts is also beneficial in that is helps avert depressive feelings and bouts of anxiety (often the two go together hand-in-hand).

If you often experience waves of depression, it may be wise to also contact your doctor/psychiatrist and discuss mood-stabilizing medication. While not an end-all/be-all, medication is often a useful tool to help keep your moods in check and create more temperate waters for your sailboat. The winds constantly change and are affecting you, but they do not cause giant storms and crushing waves. Medication may only be temporary or may become an essential component to your longterm health and well-being. There are so many treatment options, I think it would be worth while to find out about them and to discuss with your health care professionals a plan to work in tandem with your therapy and self-work. If you are already on medication, then perhaps you can discuss changing up your current dosage or medication.

Just as depression is caused by a multitude of different causes, it can be managed through a variety of causes.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle- eating well, getting proper exercise, and adequate sleep- are also important to consider when working to improve your mental health. Taking care of your body works with taking care of your mind too.

I hope that helps. I struggle with bouts of depression and anxiety (PTSD), and I find that these components listed have been tremendously useful in allowing me to regain control of my life.

I wish you the best of luck in your recovery journey!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#451556 - 10/28/13 11:46 AM Re: When Depression hit and what to do? [Re: Vedder32]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 314
Loc: Iowa, USA
Hey Vedder,
This is a very pertinent question. I have battled depression for over 40 years. I realize now that the symptoms began to appear shortly after my first episode of CSA. Through the years, they were strongest after an abuse episode, but after awhile they began to appear independent of the abuse, but they symptoms closely paralleled the messages the perps said to me - "you're worthless, nobody cares about you, etc."
One thing that helps is exercise. It can clear the mind of those negative thoughts, and there is evidence that it actually changes the brain chemistry and can combat depression.
Another effective technique is to alter your self-talk. My therapist got me to get rid of the phrase "I should" from my life. It is tough to do, I realize, but it is surprisingly effective. No more " I should do this, I should do that, or I shouldn't have said this or done that. Just eliminating that one phrase really diminishes the self doubt and negative thoughts. It forces you to think about what you will do, what actions you will take, what behaviors you will eliminate. It keeps you focused on the now, rather than what could have been.
One other technique is when the negative thoughts pervade your thinking is to think of ten or more positive attributes to yourself. It seems an almost childish thing to do, but it is extremely effective. The brain isn't good at maintaining positive and negative thoughts simultaneously and focusing on your good qualities forces out the negative.
I have been on SSRI in the past, and they are effective. When combined when talk therapy, the results are quite effective. However, the self talk by itself is also quite useful.
Good luck to you.

Dave

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#451562 - 10/28/13 12:16 PM Re: When Depression hit and what to do? [Re: Vedder32]
Lenny Offline


Registered: 07/19/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Kansas
Recently I have been looking into a different approach to depression and anxiety then I have taking. It's called ACT. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Part of the approach is to be more mindful of the current moment. For example to purposely acknowledging that "at this very moment I am typing on my keyboard responding to a topic on MS." Another part is accepting that pain, hurt, depression, anxiety, fear, joy, happiness is all part of the human experience, they're normal. No one is exempt from these experiences. I have noticed that when I am depressed and anxious are immediately move into "what can I do to get rid of these feelings?" ACT teaches us to acknowledge and accept our feelings and not identify with our thoughts and feelings since they eb and flow. The thinker is bigger than the thought. Instead of saying "I'm depressed" I have shifted to "I'm feeling depressed and that is okay. It's normal given what I have been through." Then I work on being mindful of what I am doing. The commitment part of ACT teaches us to be committed to what we value and the focus is to set goals that help us live by our values. For example, since I value a healthy mind and body I choose to exercise and when I don't I accept the truth that I am doing my best given what I have been through. A big part of ACT is self-acceptance and self-compassion. Accepting who we are, our feelings, which are neither good nor bad, and treat ourselves like we would a friend.
_________________________
No one can make you feel inferior without your permission
Don't take anything personally
It's not the event, it's the meaning applied to it

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#451596 - 10/28/13 04:49 PM Re: When Depression hit and what to do? [Re: Vedder32]
pittsburgh Offline


Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 87
Loc: west Chester, Pa
I see there are good suggestions, depression has plagued me for years. At times just could not function. Till at last I found myself in therapy. That helped, the nightmares lessoned and so did the depression. However did not stop. I take 20 mg of Lexapro a day. The thing that really helped was when I went to a Mike Lew survivors weekend. Meet and talked to other men that had gone thru the same thing. Some many years I thought I was the only one. Another thing I learned was "Minefulness" When depression starts or thought or thoughtS of "acting out" I tell myself I AM HERE,SAFE, IM FEELING WHAT, I NEED TO STAY IN TODAY NOT THOSE MANY YEARS AGO. Just my thoughts what has helped me. All the best to you in your journey
_________________________
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

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#451610 - 10/28/13 06:25 PM Re: When Depression hit and what to do? [Re: Lenny]
Banjo596 Offline


Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 39
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Lenny
Instead of saying "I'm depressed" I have shifted to "I'm feeling depressed and that is okay. It's normal given what I have been through." Then I work on being mindful of what I am doing.


Thanks for that Lenny, I really needed it. Today, my ex-wife and I finalized our dissolution in court. Something not many have done, and I certainly never have done before. I am feeling a bit down, reflective, and blue, but your words have helped.
_________________________
Jeff

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