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  1. #1
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    Default Tips to overcome depression without medication

    What did you in your life to overcome major depression apart from medication? I’m feeling severely depressed most days and I’m finding it harder and harder to pretend I’m happy to my kids. I became a single parent 5 months ago with 3 young kids. I can’t work out why I feel this way, as I was the one who left. MIL issues so I still feel angry about that I suppose. Sick of feeling so angry and just want to be happy and move on! The way I could describe it is anger, don’t feel like myself (it’s as if I don’t know myself), and by the end of the day I can’t stand the sound of the kids’ toys hitting the floorboards. I try to exercise when my ex has the kids 2 nights a week and I work 3 days a week. I know that I’m sleep deprived, as every Mum is but I just feel weird. I’ve been to a psychologist and the talking doesn’t help. What the hell is wrong with me. Please hit me with your tips so I can eventually pull myself out of this!! Thanks.

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    It may be worth trying a different psychologist, different approaches work better for some people.

    I was so depressed I would just sit all day (pre kids), sleep for hours and just stare into space.

    What is your hesitation with medication? I ask because nothing else helped me. I didn’t want to be medicated but I’m so glad I did it eventually agree to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mum-I-Am View Post
    It may be worth trying a different psychologist, different approaches work better for some people.

    I was so depressed I would just sit all day (pre kids), sleep for hours and just stare into space.

    What is your hesitation with medication? I ask because nothing else helped me. I didn’t want to be medicated but I’m so glad I did it eventually agree to it.
    I have to second this. I really wish I had tried medication earlier. It was really the only thing that really helped with my anxiety.

    Other than that, would writing a list help? A list of things that you enjoy doing or making a new goal to focus on.

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    After an initial high lasting 12 months I crashed badly after splitting from my exh. The enormity of everything we had been through hit me like a tonne if bricks and it took me years to recover.

    I think what you are going through is probably to be expected in a lot of ways even though you were the one to leave. Also I gather from your previous threads that you are experiencing behavioural issues with your kids and your MIL is still attempting to alienate the kids from you and is still running you down behind your back It's perfectly understandable that you have become depressed.

    I want to third medication. What is your hesitation? Anti depressants have been around for decades and are safe. There are a lot of different brands with different active ingredients so if one doesn't agree with you, try another.

    I think the drowning man is a good analogy here. If you saw a man drowning in a river you could save him by throwing him a life raft. Long term teaching him to swim may prevent him from drowning but you can't teach him to swim during the emergency. Medication is like the life raft. It is like a circuit breaker and will help straight away (ok may take a few weeks to kick in). However medication won't teach you to swim and won't prevent another drowning incident when you have weaned off it. You need to learn to swim for that to happen. That's what a psychologist is for. A good psychologist can teach you techniques to assist long term. If the psychologist you are seeing isn't any good, find another. I once had a doctor tell me that about 50% of psychologists are duds and shouldn't be working. I think he is correct. There are some terrible ones out there. On the flipside there are some brilliant ones as well and it is worth shopping around a decent one.

    In terms of other useful techniques, I've found exercise and lots of it works for me. BUT I need to be in the right headspace. I cannot get myself to start when I am in the depths of depression. That's where medication can help.
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 27-07-2020 at 07:17.

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    I get the hesitation with medication. I tried to push through without it, but it was just so hard to dig myself out of the hole I was in. I ended up "giving in" to it, and my only regret was not doing it sooner.

    Think of it like getting lap band surgery for weight loss. It isn't a quick fix that does all the work, but a tool to help start you off so you can do the work. Once I'd been on it for a week or so, I had the motivation to start making the changes that I needed to. I probably could have stayed on them longer than I did, but I felt I had enough of a grasp to keep going on my own.

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    I agree that medication should always be considered, but I understand your reluctance - I’m the same.

    Diet is also extremely important - make sure getting 8 serves of veggies a day and perhaps take a probiotic? Lots of studies show gut bacteria plays a huge role in mental health. But if you’re severely depressed, this may only scratch the surface.

    The other thing it sounds to me is you lack closure over your divorce. You’re still really angry and it sounds like none of the MIL issues are resolved. Maybe think of ways you can get closure on that. Like write your MIL or ex a letter setting out all your feelings, then read it a few times and burn it? Other coping strategies like that may help.

    The other big one is meditation. Meditating for 30 mins a day in the evening helped me soooo much. I would do it while in a bath. If you can carve out time to do that, you won’t regret it.

    Best of luck.

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    The only thing that worked for me was medication and finding a good psychologist. I was reluctant to try medication as well but glad I did. It really took the edge of how I was feeling.

    Eta. No amount of selfcare would have helped me...exercise, diet, sleep, time to relax are all useful to maintain health if you're otherwise well but are not going to treat medical issues.
    Last edited by AdornedWithCats; 27-07-2020 at 09:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beary View Post
    Diet is also extremely important - make sure getting 8 serves of veggies a day and perhaps take a probiotic? Lots of studies show gut bacteria plays a huge role in mental health. But if you’re severely depressed, this may only scratch the surface.
    I think statements like this are really dangerous. No food will cure depression. Sure certain foods might make you feel better in the moment but that might be chocolate or chips.

    At my most depressed even eating was hard not even factoring in buying and preparing veg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSecret Squirrel View Post
    After an initial high lasting 12 months I crashed badly after splitting from my exh. The enormity of everything we had been through hit me like a tonne if bricks and it took me years to recover.

    I think what you are going through is probably to be expected in a lot of ways even though you were the one to leave. Also I gather from your previous threads that you are experiencing behavioural issues with your kids and your MIL is still attempting to alienate the kids from you and is still running you down behind your back It's perfectly understandable that you have become depressed.

    I want to third medication. What is your hesitation? Anti depressants have been around for decades and are safe. There are a lot of different brands with different active ingredients so if one doesn't agree with you, try another.

    I think the drowning man is a good analogy here. If you saw a man drowning in a river you could save him by throwing him a life raft. Long term teaching him to swim may prevent him from drowning but you can't teach him to swim during the emergency. Medication is like the life raft. It is like a circuit breaker and will help straight away (ok may take a few weeks to kick in). However medication won't teach you to swim and won't prevent another drowning incident when you have weaned off it. You need to learn to swim for that to happen. That's what a psychologist is for. A good psychologist can teach you techniques to assist long term. If the psychologist you are seeing isn't any good, find another. I once had a doctor tell me that about 50% of psychologists are duds and shouldn't be working. I think he is correct. There are some terrible ones out there. On the flipside there are some brilliant ones as well and it is worth shopping around a decent one.

    In terms of other useful techniques, I've found exercise and lots of it works for me. BUT I need to be in the right headspace. I cannot get myself to start when I am in the depths of depression. That's where medication can help.
    Could not agree more with this.

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    I understand not wanting medication. Whether it's the right choice or not is hard to say, only you know whether you feel strong enough right now to go through the steps necessary to help yourself without medication. If you feel very strongly about this it's one thing, but if you don't, if it's just a general dislike of taking things, perhaps it might be worth reconsidering.

    I also wonder if you've taken the time to think deeply about what it is that you feel is lacking. It sounds from your post that your depression is caused by a series of tangible issues in your life, beyond an unhappy former relationship - can you identify all those issues? Like the anger you mentioned. What's its source, what would it take to make you less angry? You said yourself - you became a single parent to 3 kids. That's a big deal.
    It would feel overwhelming. Only you know if you feel you can still see through the depression, how debilitating it actually is.

    You also mentioned being tired, like most mums. It may seem like a small thing, but do you have a family member or close friend who could help you to get some decent rest, even just for one night? Sometimes accumulated weariness can make it harder to think straight, do the things you probably know you need to do to help yourself. It won't solve your problems, but it may help your body heal your mind.

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