Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Different Look at Depression Healing

Yesterday, Andrea left a comment on What Works for Healing Depression, which was quite different than my point of view and those of the other people who left comments. So, I decided to post it today. And Gianna left a follow-up comment.

Dear Susan,
A long time ago, I had a therapist who had been helping me with dealing with depression. Forms of exercise, vitamins, time with friends, time by myself, choice of literature...we covered quite a bit.

I did these things, set up patterns, but the depressions still happened and I complained that I could feel it coming and nothing I did could stop it.

She told me those things were to prevent the depression, or at least prevent it from coming on so strong. If I felt a depression coming, she advised I embrace it. Let it come, even help it along. Don't fight it - ride it out. Let your brain kick-start itself.

So now, when I feel depression coming on, I act like a young girl who has been rejected by a lover - I buy Hostess, watch sad movies, cry my eyes out, and curse my fate to suffer more than other humans. I know this sounds dramatic and silly, but sometimes an episode will just last an evening.

This might work because I rapid cycle, so my depressive episodes are mostly a predictable length to begin with (3-7 days). I just help speed up the process. So I don't know if this helps you, but maybe it will be of use to someone.


And Gianna wrote:

Andrea's idea is how I stopped even being depressed I embraced myself. I've shared this with you before Susan, but I'll share it for your readers. A friend and great inspiration wrote this:

In any case, it's pretty much the same thing Andrea says although I choose to go inward and embrace it in a more meditative way, but whatever works! I still think what Andrea is doing is a version of the same thing.

What do you think about this point of view? Might it work for you? Has it worked for you?


mmaaggnnaa said...

Hi, Susan -

Yes, I'm with Andrea & Gianna . . .

I treat depression like a would a cold or flu . . . "well, it's here so I'll just let it be okay . . "

I'll rest and I don't ask too much of myself, knowing that in a few days or weeks I'll experience the other side of coin and make up for lost time . . .

If I fight it, the depression only lasts longer.

- Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

Paula Joy said...

One thing I do know is that the more I try to "tame" it and not deal with it, the more frustrated I become and for a longer period of time. I've learned the the faster I can deal with whatever is happening in life (that means walk THROUGH it, not let it tag along beside me) the better off I am. The less hiding I do, the more open I am, and the more open I am, the faster freedom comes.

Have I perfected this? Not even close. But, I do know that it's better to feel the feeling and be done with it than to let the weigth hang on my shoulder and drag me down even further.

And, to add a bit of Bible in here, it says that God will help us THROUGH our testing, not to HIDE/IGNORE our testing.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marie,
Okay! We'll weigh one vote in for Andrea and Gianna (just kidding). It's helpful to know what works for others.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paula Joy,
That's my philosophy as well. I don't believe that depressions come out of nowhere. There are triggers that need to be dealt with, and the sooner the better!Thanks for weighing in on this issue. Hope your broken ankle is mending quickly!


Mariposa said...

I miss her comment...but true in some ways as I have tried them, though not consistent...and I just figured it myself...especially before I was dignosed. I can just read something and burst into tears...or worst, I see a stranger and for some unexplained reason I can feel that person's sadness or gladness. I used to pay so much attention to that, but lately, I've been trying to be conscious with my emotions that at times I just ignore them by getting pre-occupied.

A good night cry is always good I believe, depressed or not...and well...I wanted to make a comment last time but my internet was horrific...and what I was meaning to say was, I sometimes deals with it by watching sad movies! Not only they make me cry...they also make me feel better after! ;)

I can laugh about it now...bec I'm finding my center.

So you can guess how many times I've watched Gone with the Wind...and how many times I've watched it in a weekend...add other cry movies like Casa Blanca, An Affair to Remember, Steel Magnolias and the one which makes me cry from start to end, Go Towards the Light!


Periwinkle said...

I find I am getting depressed when I pms, what helps me the most is to take long naps sometimes they can last a day or two.

This allows my mind to sort out whatever is bothering me, If only I could put a lock on the door so my 3 little dear ones would know not to come in with interruptions, but they dont really understand what is going on with me. And school ends soon for them, so I dont know how to get those good naps in,

I also have the reassurance that my Savior loves me and died for me and my sins (John 3:16) and I can get through this with His mercy, love and patience. I enjoy reading the book of Psalms when I am feeling down.
On another note I was napping from Sunday to Tuesday and today felt much better so I decided to do a new hair style which I try to start my summer off each year for fun and had my hair lightened to what I hope is a bleach blonde, I'll be better to tell in the a.m. after I was the rest of the toner out.
My happy color in life is orange so you guessed it my bands are striped orange and I love it. My oldest girlfriend is a recovering alcoholic and and her hair is the color I made my stripes so it is a tribute to her. Pictures to follow on my blog.
Yes "Virginia there is a Santa Claus and fun things to do with your hair in your 40's"!!!!!

Blessings to all and to all a good night sleep!!

p.s. Susan you may want to try Lunesta to help you sleep at night, Ativan can become addicting.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
There are times of the year when my emotions are much more "at the surface" than others. I remember the days when I used to watch the telephone commercial, and when they said "Reach out and touch somebody," tears came to my eyes.

And when I'm depressed, I find it difficult to have the same boundaries that I do when I'm not. So, if I talk with people who are depressed, it really gets me down.

Like you, sometimes a good cry can be very helpful, and I love all the same films you do, except I'm not aware of the last one you mentioned. But I'll look it up on IMDB.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Periwinkle,
I've found that naps are helpful as well. When I used to be depressed and didn't understand what was wrong, I, too, could try and figure things out when I was in sort of a half-asleep half-awake mode.

And yes, summer used to be difficult with kids home all day, although I only have one son and he's now almost 20 (so it hasn't been an issue for a long time).

When my son was young and my mother was alive, he could always spend time with her when I needed alone time. But, it's got to be difficult with three children.

And the part about your hair color is a hoot. I'll have to check out your blog.

But, tonight I'm working on my final for my gardening class, and tomorrow we have to dig up our gardens "and bring them home."

However, once things calm down a bit, I'll be visiting more blogs.

P.S. You're right about the addictive quality of Ativan. But the Lunesta costs way more, and we just can't afford it.

However, I stopped taking Ativan last night, and while it takes a week to "normalize," I'm glad to be off it.

Wendy Love said...

Me too! Me too! I agree that giving in to a depression, to a degree, is more proactive than it might seem on the outside. As a rapid cycler, giving in makes the depressive episode a wee bit shorter. If I push myself, I just get in worse shape, and the depressive episode, that I am then forced to accept, can sometimes last longer.
Wendy Love

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendy,
Another interesting perspective from a rapid-cycler. I wonder whether there is a relationship between handling depression this way and rapid-cycling!


John FW said...

Susan -

This is a very helpful couple of posts with all the comments. I tend to agree with Gianna that, since my turnaround about six months ago, whatever I may be feeling I don't even think of it as depression. I know some of these states I've been in were exactly the ones I use to think of as part of depression, but I simply don't believe that anymore. This shift took place at a level deeper than conscious thought, and I can't really explain why it happened when it did.

The will to change has been a big part of this for me.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear John,
An interesting comment. Perhaps my best response is tomorrow's post.