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Depression - apart from medical treatment, what can I do to beat it?

(33 Posts)
circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 19:53:30

I went to my GP this morning and have been diagnosed with depression and referred for CBT. Will have to wait for a while for this to start, though.

In the meantime, what else can I do to control it? What are good things to eat / do / avoid / try? Having decided to tackle it, I'm feeling more purposeful than I've done for a while and want to do things to help myself while I've got the momentum.

meglet Tue 05-Aug-08 19:57:23

I found exercise was the best thing I ever did. I was really poorly 10 years ago (suicide attempts etc). A/D's never really worked for me either. Started yoga then martial arts about 9 years ago and have been fine ever since. TBH I think its the best way to minimise and possibly prevent it. I had CBT too and it helped.

feedmenow Tue 05-Aug-08 19:57:25

St John's Wort (although have never actually tried it myself!), healthy diet, exercise, good sleep pattern.

I hope some/all of these things work for you.

If you are really struggling, don't be afraid to ask about AD's as they can help you get through the short-term while you wait for the CBT.

constancereader Tue 05-Aug-08 19:57:46

I used acupuncture to control the physical symptoms of extreme anxiety/depression.

CBT worked brilliantly for me, glad they have referred you.

Get plenty of exercise.

Good Luck, hope you feel better soon

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:00:32

Mmm, exercise. I've never done as little in my life as I do now. It's something DH and I try to fit in around everything else - probably needs to go up the priorities list.

I sooooooo can't be bothered to start though! Although the rational side of me knows it's the best thing.

gigglewitch Tue 05-Aug-08 20:01:28

sounds like you're on the way out of it atm and you'll beat it sooner or later smile CBT is great - but as you've already been referred for that then I'd suggest two things - fun exercise, something you enjoy (I dance) and something relaxing, whether listening to relaxation cd's, music, reflexology, aromatherapy or whatever takes your fancy...
Oh, and the huuuuge crunch for me, make sure you get enough time in bed / asleep. I am a crap sleeper but just going to bed early occasionally and chillin out still stops me getting too tired which usually means stressed.

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:02:28

Was acupuncture any help, then? Did you have to do it often, and was it dear?

Felt the GP was hinting at other stuff as he ran through the options available on the NHS, heavily emphasised. There was a medical student there, though, so I didn't probe.

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:03:42

Exercise, even jusst walking.
Talk to people.
Eat little and often but avoid suagry foods as you need to balance blood sugar levels. The GI diet is actually quite good for helping balance sugar levels and therefore avoiding sugar rushes and the inevitable slump.
Laugh. (Or give yourself opportunities to laugh )

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:04:12

Gigglewitch, I like the balance of two things you suggest. As well as never exercising, I never switch off, either.

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:04:22

and I =know it's a drag but avoid alcohol and illegal drugs if applicable.

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:06:42

Does the GI diet work? It makes sense but all the traffic lights seem awfully fiddly to me and I've had low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb diets ingrained in me since I was small, so it's hard to change the mind set. Not that I've ever been particularly thin out of it!

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:08:09

Avoiding alcohol is a drag, yes.

Do folk who have or have had depression have to stay off it long term?

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:08:38

I'm not saying GI diet works, IMO no diet works,(other than eating healthily and taking exercise ) but low GI foods tend to be good at slow energy relase, thereby helping (hopefully) to reduce mood swings caused by spikes and slumps in blood sugar levels.

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:09:38

well it's just that alcohol is often a depressant.....so if you are depressed, it ain't really going to help if you are serious about trying to beat depression IYSWIM

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:10:36

And yes yes yes to good rest and sleep

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:11:10

agh, must stop doing I want to slap myself...!

gigglewitch Tue 05-Aug-08 20:11:47

i have the occasional glass of wine, but if you have a lot the results are disasterous for days - well for me anyway.
The never-switch-off bit is the hardest, isn't it... I had to be totally bloody-minded and learn the word "no" alongside figuring out what chairs were for hmm

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:15:24

oh incidentally, in some areas, GPs can prescribe a do it yourself CBT type programme on the computer. It is called Beating The Blues. I don't know what is is like though, but I gather it is worksheets etc you fill in on line. Might be worth asking GP about it as waiting lists for cbt therapy can be horrendous.

some info here

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:16:02

filthymindedvixen -

filthymindedvixen Tue 05-Aug-08 20:16:44

Stop!!!! Pleeease!

gigglewitch Tue 05-Aug-08 20:18:13

that's a point fmv - my mum was given this!

FossilSister Tue 05-Aug-08 20:19:50

Advice on low spirits by Sidney Smith

1. Live as well and drink as much wine as you dare.

2 Go in to the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold.

3. Amusing books

4. Short views of human life - not further than dinner or tea.

5. Be as busy as you can

6. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.

7. and of those acquaintances who amuse you

8. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends but talk of them fully.

9. Attend to the effects of tea and coffee upon you.

10. Compare your lot with that of other people.

11. Don't expect too much of human life - a sorry business at best.

12. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations, music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence.

13. Do good and endeavour to please everyone of every degree.

14. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.

15. Make the room where you commonly sit gay and pleasant.

16. Struggle little by little against idleness.

17. Don't be too severe upon yourself but do yourself justice.

18. Keep good, blazing fires.

19. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.

20. Believe me dear Lady Georgiana very truly yours.

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:20:11

Thanks for the link.

Yes, I'm beginning to work out that sharing a bottle of wine with DH has quite a large effect on me, so was already coming to the conclusion that none at all would help a lot for a while.

Never-switch-off is terrifically hard, yes. I need to figure that one out a bit - in my family and friends I'm always the one that gets handed the jobs, so to stop it I'm going to have to tell people what's going on in my head - and I don't know if I can.

circlesquare Tue 05-Aug-08 20:20:45

Thanks for the link.

Yes, I'm beginning to work out that sharing a bottle of wine with DH has quite a large effect on me, so was already coming to the conclusion that none at all would help a lot for a while.

Never-switch-off is terrifically hard, yes. I need to figure that one out a bit - in my family and friends I'm always the one that gets handed the jobs, so to stop it I'm going to have to tell people what's going on in my head - and I don't know if I can.

IdrisTheDragon Tue 05-Aug-08 20:20:55

There's programmes called living life to the full and mood gym which are free and anyone can use.

Making sure that you go to bed in good time is something I have to do (or at least know that if I don't I will feel not at my best).

I found that CBT has helped me immensely - I was lucky enough to get my NHS referral through quite quickly.

It is good that you do feel motivated smile. Keep hold of that as much as you can, but don't worry if it goes for a while.

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