Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Depression Daze: Finally Coming Out of a Depression Episode

You know how when you're depressed, days feel like weeks?

That's pretty much been me a few weeks ago, for like a week and a half. It felt like a month, when in reality it was only maybe two weeks tops. Of course after I came out of the depression I dealt with a few days of really bad anxiety. Fun times.

But you know what? Even though that week and a half of depression was worse than I've felt in at least 2 years, I still made it through, and came out of it. I had an extra session of therapy, and we both concluded I should probably do what my psychiatrist had suggested in times of anxiety or depression: Increase my dosage of Depakote a little bit.

I don't like to increase my dosage unless absolutely necessary, but in this case it was the right decision. So after about 3-4 days, and some really hard days of forcing myself to do everything possible to make myself work through the depression, I started feeling better. One of the days, a Tuesday, I had to work at 4 pm, and I hadn't worked in over a week. Finally with my the extra help of my boyfriend (he literally talked me through getting out the door to go to work, step by step) I was able to make it to work, and stay there. That seemed to flip the switch. I felt so much better after that, after having forced myself to work.

For me, the hardest thing about depression is the feeling of just being numb, having no motivation, and simply not caring about anything anymore.

Some methods of coping that worked for me this time were:

1. Making Lists

I have a small notebook I keep next to the bed, and every night or morning, I'd write done what I wanted to accomplish the next day, even if was as simple as writing down: Shower, Eat, Get Dressed. Writing down these small goals, makes things seem more manageable, and also once I cross it off helps me feel more accomplished. I learned this from a former therapist.

One of My Lists

2. Write Letters to Yourself

My boyfriend had the idea that if I wrote a letter to myself the night before (I tended to feel less depressed during the afternoons and evening, the mornings were the hardest for me) that might help me feel more motivated in the morning.

The letters were more like pep talks to myself, and telling myself that I could do it.

I also recommend writing letters to yourself when you feel good. That way you can look back at them during low times, and remember that you won't always feel this bad.

3. Stay Hydrated, Eat Small Meals, Hygiene

When I get depressed I tend to not take very good care of myself. This is usually because I don't feel like I deserve food, or even feel like eating. Food starts seeming gross to me. It doesn't help that I tend to just not care about myself very much anymore. So it helps to force myself to eat small meals throughout the day, the healthier the better. Also staying hydrated is important, so drink up!

Finally, take a shower/bath everyday, even if you don't usually shower everyday. Even if you feel bad, taking a shower can really help improve your mood. Soak in the bath, stand under the shower head, and just enjoy the heat of the water, the smell of the soaps, and simply feeling cleaning afterwards.

4. Sleep

Sleep is tricky.

If you sleep too much, it will make you feel worse. You have to make yourself get up at a decent hour every day. Even if it simply means you get out of bed, and move to the couch. A good sleep schedule is important. Personally anything more than 10 hours is too much in my opinion. I know it's hard, but getting out of bed is the best thing to do when you're depressed.

5. Exercise

Exercise, exercise, exercise.

Even if it's simply doing some stretches for 10-15 minutes on a yoga mat. Or taking a 10 minute walk around the block. If you can do more great! if not, 10 minutes at least, especially in the morning can really really improve your mood.

Here's a  yoga stretching video I like to use (it's about 13 minutes long): Fitness Blender Yoga Infused Workout

6. Finally, Don't Beat Yourself Up, Be Kind to Yourself

I know you've got that harsh inner critic in your mind when you're feeling like this, but don't listen to it. You are not only a survivor, you are a warrior. You'll get better, and the next time will not be as bad, because you know what to do, and you've done it before.

Give yourself some credit. You have to fight this battle with yourself, and in the end you will win. You always do :)

No comments:

Post a Comment