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How do you beat depression and anxiety without medication?(11 Posts)
I'm quite worried about writing this, because I already feel very ashamed of who I am. I feel ashamed that I cannot beat depression and anxiety and strike it from my life.
I'm also worried you will all judge me badly, which I'm not sure I can deal with right now. As I feel shitty enough with myself.
I've suffered most of my life. Self harmed as a teenager. Have always gone into self destruct mode when overly stressed.
I feel as though the things in life that most people can deal with, I end up struggling way out of proportion and act unreasonably.
I'm newly dating right now. And he's the most sweetest guy I have ever met. Yet when I'm not with him the doubt creeps in. I have no reason to worry apart from my past experiences. So I end up being all insecure and needy. He doesn't deserve that. Yet he still stays. Try's hard to comfort me and build up my confidence.
Throughout the years I've been on and off anti depressants. I'll start then. Once they are full working I'll feel on top of the world. After a while they will begin to not be as effective and so my doctor will up the dose. This usually continues until I feel zombie like. Which I hate.
I then get to a point in life where I don't like feeling numb anymore. And am coping quite well in stressful situations. So will stop taking the medication.
Obviously weeks down the line when they are fully out of my system
I'm back to square one.
Currently I can feel crap for no reason at all. Everything can be going great. I'll be super happy. Yet the physical symptoms will consume me.
I'll be left feeling angry and anxious. That feeling you get before you go on a roller coaster. Or maybe how you would feel if you were suddenly faced with something very frightening. The feeling of adrenaline kicking in. Of panic. Feeling sick. Super tired. No motivation to do anything and just wanting to curl up in bed and staying there.
I really really really do not want to see my doctor as they will just give me yet again more anti depressants.
Sorry for the long post. I guess I was hoping to find people who manage to live life and enjoy it without the medication.
All I've done today is cry for absolutely no reason. Have even resorted to going back on my ecig to stop me going buying cigs (I quit cold turkey 4.5 years ago and haven't had a puff since).
Am I silly to feel this way? Why can't I just 'control' it? Why can't I ignore it? Change it?
Have you had some counselling? Might get to the route of the issues esp around your self esteem and self worth.
The Louise Hay book Heal your Life is worth a read.
This may sound silly, but I'm a qualified counsellor (I don't work in that field though). So if I have counselling it's impossible for me to be 'me' because instead I just find myself offering information that I know they are looking for, or giving answers I know they are trained to want to hear.
I'll google the book though.
I can see that you're in a horrible cycle, but in my own experience meds are crucial. I try to be gentle with myself rather than beat myself up for needing them because if I was diabetic I'd take insulin... And an asthma pump If asthmatic etc. People on those meds don't give themselves a hard time so why should we? Mental illness is no more of a choice than diabetes or asthma. Some people manage to use their asthma pumps less frequently than others. I need meds every day or I fall apart and can't cope with life. I guess what I'm saying is there's no shame in it. It's taken me a long time to accept this and fight against the stigma.
That being said, I know that feeling like a zombie is awful. Are you under a psychiatrist rather than just a gp? This could be worth requesting as there are so many different meds. Hopefully they can find one that works better for you. I hope so. Sending you hugs.
I used meds just to make me well enough to do CBT. I also found exercise really helpful.
I see my usually gp. Or whoever is available (they change gp's quite often).
I am classed as having mild depression and anxiety. I'm not sure if that is an accurate term because I am quite guarded when I see a gp.
I will disclose enough information to be given the relevant medication that is needed, but have a fear of giving too much information as it gets recorded on my file and I worry I could lose my children if they deemed me to be unsafe in a bad spell.
Just for the record I always meet my children's needs I just become more distant when I am really suffering.
When I am in a good place.. I am the happiest girl alive. I have focus, I love life and I just feel so positive.
Unfortunately this usually ends with everything crashing down around me even if nothing has changed at all. And I think what I find hardest about this is I feel like I have no control over it. The black cloud decides to consume me and that is that. And the more I try and fight it the more I end up suffering
I think you need to give counselling a go again. And instead of thinking about what the counsellor wants to hear, start answering and talking honestly. You say you can be guarded...I guess for counselling to really have an effect you need to let the guard down. It could take a few goes until you find a therapist who you feel comfortable with.
I have been depressed for most of my life. But it was only last year I finally went for counselling, and honestly I am a different person now. Resolving the issues that go way way back into my childhood was what really helped me. I developed anxiety somewhere along the way (I can't pin point the exact time) and it is much more manageable now. Still not gone, but definitely under control atm.
I tried meds, and they worked in the sense that they silenced my head. But I was a zombie so I stopped.
A big factor that jumps out from your posts is the sense of shame. This is no more your fault than any other illness. There is no shame in not being able to fix yourself. I spent a decade telling myself I was intelligent enough to think myself out of it. I wasn't. Now that I am feeling better I wish I hadn't wasted so much time hating myself for not having all the answers.
So just because you are trained as a counsellor doesn't mean you should be able to deal with this. Sometimes we have to put ourselves in someone else's hands and allow them to help us.
Sleep and rest when you can - my best advice - esp because with depression you may not sleep well at night.
I generally think there is normally something that triggers anxiety and or depression so I try to understand:
1. what am I feeling angry about (this question sometimes helps me),
2.what am I scared of? or
3. what have I lost control of (or perceived loss of control in my life).
These questions help me.
I have had anxiety and depression before and been on medication for 2 years for it, so I do know exactly what it is like when it starts to come on. For example if I feel myself getting spaced or feeling powerless I use a few techniques like the above to pull myself out of it and yes it is hard to do this but yes I believe it can be done I hope that helps it at least gives you hope.
Oh and yes I agree with the above poster ^€ about Counselling. I think this is great too, and do not ever feel bad for what you are going through its very real.
Obviously the above (my tips) may not help you but for me this is what I can do now although yes am a bit further down the road with it all now so I'm at a different place and handle it differently now.
Wishing you well
Exercise, eating well and counselling. Medication doesn't work for me.
I realised that if I exercised hard enough I'm more concerned with not keeling over and my poor brain can forget feeling wretched for 30 mins or so. I can feel utterly desperate when I run sometimes but I've learnt an autopilot that keeps my legs moving forward even if mentally I feel like I'm wading through mud.
I've had to accept that I need to stay on medication. But I have found in the past, that once I've been able to get the physical things under control and have re-established healthy routines (exercise etc) then I usually request that I reduce the dosage. I think once you're in a hole it's difficult to get out without help, but once you're out you can do things to stop yourself falling back in if you see what I mean!
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