What's most difficult about giving advice for depression recovery--a subject about which I truly know a tremendous amount--is that I lack patience when people don't listen.
I guess the problem is that during the periods when I have been severely depressed--and would have been thrilled to find anyone who could have helped me--I was unable to find people who were truly effective. And, in periods of great need, like last November and December, once again someone I knew recommended yet another charlatan.
This guy was a psychiatrist, and I had to drive all the way to San Diego (more than 100 miles), and it was a complete disaster. He allegedly had this "secret process," which he couldn't explain to me, but he said had worked with other patients. And, he learned it on the telephone from someone over a two year period. I could go on, but you get my drift. My need for help is sometimes so great that I've been willing to allow charlatans to financially take advantage of me rather than trusting my own instincts.
And, I know that much of what works for me works for others--but only if they are willing to listen, and fully participate in their own wellness. Yet, I also believe that in a deep depression, medication is the only way to end it--if you can find something that works. And, once you feel better, you have an opportunity to start doing all the wellness activities that will enable you to feel better long term.
What I mean by this is that I, too, realize it's very difficult--in fact, next to impossible--to start an exercise program when you're depressed. However, if you start one when you're not, it's much easier to continue with it when your energy level diminishes.
Same thing about finding a new therapist. It's almost impossible when you're depressed. At least it is for me because talking is so very difficult. But, if you find someone you like when you're feeling well, it's far easier to continue this relationship when you're not.
For me, this year will be the ultimate test. Earlier, I spent nine months in therapy resolving my issues. I am participating in this gardening program, which is truly healing, at UCLA Extension. I'm figured out what I dislike about the holidays, and we're developing new ways of celebrating this year. And, I've been reading about how to "embrace the darkness," which is clearly an issue for those of us who have a seasonal depression.
So...if my low-level depression worsens, I know what I need to do to get better. And, I've written myself letters to remind myself what needs to be done, and I've told myself that I am the only healer I truly need.
What works for you?