Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Coping with depression

It's strange but it's now a year since my most recent "depressive episode - as the doctors called it" and it's finally starting to dawn on me that I'm in this for the long haul.
There's no quick fix, no miracle cure it's just something I need to learn to live with and manage. I guess it's a bit like diabetes in that respect. There are no magical cures but with the right treatment most people can live normal lives.
I'm yo-yoing a bit at the moment and keep assuming the depression is coming back and I'm not coping but the truth is that I am coping and what I'm feeling is normal. I'm worse if I find myself with too much time to think and my mind starts wandering so I have to try and keep myself busy.
Work is good at the moment so I'm finding other things to worry about at home and "catastrophise" but I'm then able to very quickly focus on positive things which pulls me up. It's silly little things like our shower packing up and the plumber fitted a new part that doesn't work properly.
Well I'm assuming I'm going to have to fight and have a confrontation with the plumber to get it fixed or just put up with a sub-standard shower. I have no evidence to back this up and the chances are there's a logical reason why it's not working and we'll get it fixed. What's the worse that could happen? We need to buy a new shower. It's not the end of the world!
It's very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and presume everything is going well and I'm "getting better". But when something comes along that give's me a little jolt it's hard not to fully give into it, it takes real effort to convince myself it's just a blip and I can actually cope.
I'm going back through a lot of my CBT notes and trying to refresh on some coping techniques. One that I had forgotten about is "visualisation".
With visualisation you mentally visualise a favourite place. This could be home, your bed, a holiday location. Just somewhere you like and could relax. You close you eyes and visualise you place, all the time mentally saying "peace" or "relax". You do this for 10 minutes and then slowly open your eyes. This sounds a bit corny but it does help relax and switch off. Sometime a brief distraction is all that's needed to come out of a blip.
I think I'd like to find a local self help group and just talk to other people who suffer and hopefully sharing solutions and coping mechanisms will help.
Depression.com has some good tips on managing stress.

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