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Depression Advice - What NON-MED stuff works?

(7 Posts)
Sadmumma Fri 13-Feb-15 17:43:35

Hi, my OH has just been diagnosed with depression, possibly bi-polar. I love him so much and it makes me really sad that he feels like this. He's going on Citalopram (starting tomorrow) but what other advice can I give him (eg to walk for 20 mins a day which I know helps with depression). He works from home a lot so he is on his own for large parts of the day and I have worried about him being lonely so getting up and going out seems like a good thing to do.

He says he finds it so difficult to tackle any task at the moment and I've been noticing that he has no enthusiasm for anything. What little tactics can I tell him might work?

Iwasinamandbunit Fri 13-Feb-15 18:05:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sadmumma Fri 13-Feb-15 19:04:42

Thank you Iwas. He went out today to drop a package to someone and to collect something from B & Q and he said that he felt so much better just doing that - he's realised that he needs to make the effort.

We eat healthily and he only has the odd beer now and again. I know that the Citalopram will make him feel weird to start with so I hope that he sticks with it. I need him back sad. He has always been my rock and comfort and so strong.

Well done on your walk and dishwasher activities. Keep going flowers

Iwasinamandbunit Fri 13-Feb-15 19:09:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Georgethesecond Fri 13-Feb-15 19:10:33

Fresh air
Exercise
No alcohol
Routine
Planning something however small to do each day
Early nights if his sleep is ok

Sadmumma Sat 14-Feb-15 09:59:35

Great advice. I'm just back from DD2's swimming lesson and found him downstairs. He's had breakfast, had forgotten he had to start on his meds so he's now taken that. He said he is just trying to keep going, doing things methodically and slowly and not planning too much. And he is planning a short bike ride in about an hour. He loves cycling but hasn't been out for a month and that says a lot. So I'm glad he's going to do that.

He sleeps well. Doc told him it is the body's way of escaping the depression. Meanwhile I can't sleep at all - too anxious, so I'm shattered today. I'm taking it slowly too. My goals: clean the bathroom and cook lunch. That's about it for today.

I am cancelling a couple of social things next week. We just need to be as calm as possible and allow the meds to kick in. Will he start to feel normal on these drugs soon?

MonstrousRatbag Tue 17-Feb-15 09:53:53

Everything George said, plus:

Yoga or mindfulness-very calming and helps with staying in the moment and not letting the anxious thoughts take over. He could get a mindfulness CD and do it for a few minutes each day, or try to find a course on it somewhere (some health trusts provide courses free of charge);

Self-care: looking after yourself, even if it is just having a nice bath, treating yourself to a favourite food or lunch out;

Habit-breakers: if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got. Doing new things, even small ones, can often be a breath of fresh air. It could be as simple as taking a different route to drive to the supermarket, or as big as deciding not to do the traditional family birthday/Christmas/whatever and going to Timbuktu instead;

Keeping a diary to write down things he worries about, troublesome thoughts or anything else that seems relevant. It is also good to balance this with positive tasks like lists of things he is good at, or likes about himself;

Setting aside time for him to do something for himself. It could be the mindfulness, or listening to music or doing a hobby. Just 30 minutes-an hour each day that is his to use without guilt or interruption;

Not sleeping too much-hypersomnia is not as obviously problematic as insomnia but too much sleep can itself lead to low mood and feeling below par, plus it solves nothing. Al the problems are still there when you wake up. I think getting up at a reasonable time (same time each day if possible) is a good idea.

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