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Anyone want to come and talk about managing depression without meds?

(13 Posts)
ToomuchWaternotWine Sat 26-Jan-13 03:26:55

Hiya, I have also had PND and continuing bouts of depression since Ds was born 6 years ago. Two things helped most so far.
1 getting a dog! Companionship, unconditional love, and the necessity to have regular exercise in the fresh air, every day.
2 following the low carb way of eating. It has stabilised my blood sugars, helped stabilise my mood, no 4pm slump, given me much more regular energy to cope with life. After 3 months, I was able to come off my ADs. And that was in the middle of winter which is when I struggle most.

Good luck OP.

TheSmallerPenguin Sat 26-Jan-13 02:13:05

Exercise, daylight, exercise, fresh air, exercise grin. Seriously, exercise works. The hot, sweaty kind buys endorphins that last for days. Having said that, only you and your GP know how severe it is, so don't dismiss their advice out of hand. ADs have their place and are not the root of all evil. They can be particularly useful for giving you the motivation to make changes that ultimately allow you to manage without them.
Human beings are not actually designed to sit on sofas, it's bad for your physical and mental health!

BubblegumPie Sat 26-Jan-13 01:48:18

Hi, just posted a similar thread before I saw this one.

I too am currently going through a depressive period and am hoping to deal with it without meds.

i know that exercise is effective, and it has helped in the past, but i struggle to get motivated anyway without the depression!

I could do with getting into some exercise though, I've put on a lot of weight because of how down I've been feeling. (I used to deal with depression by sleeping almost constantly, so often lost weight, but that's impossible with DCs!)

GladbagsGold Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:54

Hi Curryeater

FWIW I felt truly horrendous on citalopram, but have been on fluoxetine for a few years and for me it is a completely different experience. The fluoxetine really helps. I don't think I've put weight on.

My GP says to do things that you enjoy doing, but easier said than done. I feel that the fluoxetine sort of gives me a leg-up to doing things that I know will help but previously couldn't summon up the mental strength to do: seeing friends instead of retreating, exercise,being outdoors, all that.

Good luck x

harrietspy Fri 25-Jan-13 11:09:41

Hi curry. Harriet is my hero, so I've borrowed/nicked her name. smile

I've signed up for the mindfulness course because I practise it so inconsistently on my own and I thought it would be good to have a weekly group to go to. (I hope this will help me start a regular daily private practice as well). I've been meaning to do a course for ages but always said I couldn't afford it. (It's £150 for low-waged for an 8 week course). I've heard that NICE are looking into 'prescribing' mindfulness courses because it's as effective as ADs in preventing relapse, but unfortunately that's not happening yet. I've got to the point where my depression and anxiety is having such a negative impact on my life, work, family, etc so drastic action is needed and I'm paying the £££.

Hope today is a good day and that you can do one tiny positive life-enhancing thing for yourself. smile

curryeater Fri 25-Jan-13 10:39:47

Hi all,
Thanks for all the contributions.
Harrietspy, you are named after one of my favourite people ever!
I have looked into the mindfulness thing but I have never practised it consistently. I have a book of guided meditations which I need to get into but my ipod and kindle both broke so I need to find some other way to listen to it.

iworemyfringe - all good stuff - the making things, creative stuff, thing is so important - I think part of what has got me into this mess is feeling hamstrung by small children all the time - they are getting bigger and more self sufficient now and I need to make the time to do things- as much as anything as a role model thing

Thanks for the encouragement. I am really wary of ads. I have struggled with my weight my whole life and that is one of the reasons - some people report weight gain on ADs and if it happens to anyone, it will happen to me - I am the type. and being fat really contributes to my depression. I'm not too bad at the moment, for me - have worked hard to lose some baby weight.

I saw the dr and was prescribed fluoxetine. I am unsure whether to take it.

Maybe I should start a Mindfulness thread to see if anyone else wants to join for peer pressure towards consistent practice?

harrietspy Thu 24-Jan-13 23:05:39

Yes, it is a slog without ADs but there are other avenues to explore. I'm about to embark on a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR). Although this is targeted at reducing stress, there's an increasing amount of research with very promising results into using mindfulness meditation to treat depression. Even if you do decide to go on ADs you might find mindfulness meditation to be helpful. smile is a good place to start, and I've heard that this book by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Mark Williams in the UK is worth looking at. (I've got other books & CDs by MW and JKZ and they've really helped me).

I hope your GP is helpful tomorrow! Good luck!

iworemyfringelikerogermcguinns Thu 24-Jan-13 23:01:20

exercise and getting out in the daylight
social contact and talking to people eg pub with people I like and feel comfortable with
creative activity eg cooking, baking, painting, DIY (unbotched if poss blush )

the problem is when I'm not feeling so good I KNOW i need to do these things to get out of it, but can take a monumental effort to do it and sometimes I just don't have the willpower.

Mylittlepuds Thu 24-Jan-13 22:48:26

Oh bloody hell PackItIn - I have to wait 6 years?! shock smile

PackItInNow Wed 23-Jan-13 17:51:35

IME of untreated PND, it can be done, but I took over 6yrs before I felt anywhere close to normal and I'm very much hard to bring down.

I was scared of SS taking my kids away, so I never had my PND treated. I would say that if anyone want to avoid AD's, then be prepared for a long, hard slog to get back to anywhere near normal.

lizba Wed 23-Jan-13 15:03:56

Have a look at The Linden Method - I know it's not for everyone but I also know a few people who it's worked well for . Also St john's Wort worth a try

WhoWhatWhereWhen Wed 23-Jan-13 12:34:04

I have had some terrible experiences with AD's and i certainly have a tendency to put on weight.

Exercise has helped with both depression and weight, give it a go, whatever you can manage it all helps.

curryeater Wed 23-Jan-13 12:26:48

I have had some not good experiences with citalopram.
Also am very prone to put on weight which I find depressing in itself so do not want anything which will contribute to that.

I have had depression basically always, on and off.
It comes and goes and is coming back quite badly now.

I have an appointment with a gp tomorrow but want to avoid meds if possible because I think that in some cases they can cause as many problems as they solve, (although I in no way object ideologically to them or think other people should not take them or anything like that)

I am confused as to how much of what I am feeling is legitimate-response-to-situation type stuff (although I know I am weak and oversensitive) and how much is just dysfunctional brain.

I do not think much of gps in general although the one I have an appointment with sounded ok on the phone. This attitude of distrust is obviously not helping. but in mental health, like obstetrics, for better or for worse, the patient is expected to be informed and make choices and so there is this culture in which you are expected to agree with the gp and do as you are told willingly and often I do not.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this and has anyone anything to share about ways to improve mental health without meds?

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