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If you've suffered from depression before how do you pull yourself up from feeling low before it starts again?

(12 Posts)
ksld Fri 17-Oct-08 14:59:37

I suffered badly with (not medically diagnosed) antenatal depression. Since then I have had what I would call normal times of feeling a bit low, and I get out in the fresh air, I'm kind to myself, find a new book to read or something, and it usually goes away. However I have been feeling very low for a week now, today I am getting to the near to tears all the time stage. I can feel my fear of the depression coming back and can't distance myself from it. Does this make any sense? Anyone experienced this and got any tips?

Dioriffic Fri 17-Oct-08 15:01:39

Message withdrawn

pumpkinscantdancethetango Fri 17-Oct-08 15:05:37

can only repeat whats been said.

exercise can definetly help, and asking for some support from gp.

expatinscotland Fri 17-Oct-08 15:07:12

exercise, SAD lamp, Happy Days tablets from Healthspan, grooming myself - nails, hair, etc.

Dioriffic Fri 17-Oct-08 15:08:20

Message withdrawn

RubberDuck Fri 17-Oct-08 15:11:28

Exercise and SAD lamp on my list too.

I also REALLY watch my thought patterns and try extra hard to counteract any negative thought about myself or my life with several positive thoughts to cancel it out.

Eg. "I can't believe I lost my temper with them AGAIN, I am such a crap parent".

"Hey, but I found the time to go out on a bike ride with the eldest last weekend, he loved that. And the youngest was SO keen to lay the table earlier to help me out, I must be doing SOMETHING right. I must carve out a little extra reading time with them tonight, that'll make me feel better."

It's really hard to do, but it does make a slow difference over time.

RubberDuck Fri 17-Oct-08 15:14:06

Oh, and if I'm really struggling and am worried about one particular thing in the day ahead, I try and make up a little mantra to repeat to myself throughout the day (maximum 3 words).

Eg. (using the shit parent example above) "I will be calm and patient no matter what." And every time I feel myself losing my cool then I'll just mutter that inside my head 10 times or something.

Okay, that sounds a bit crazy. But really helped me out of a rut when I was in a job I hated and would feel very tearful about coping. I'd make up my mantra and repeat it in rhythm to my steps walking to the job - was a real energy boost.

RubberDuck Fri 17-Oct-08 15:17:29

(I'll shut up in a minute, I promise)

I do think long term, you have to sit down and work out what your depression triggers are.

For me, I spiral down when I feel out of control of my situation. Having a small baby for the first time ever, for example, was a HUGE feeling of lost at sea for me.

So, my "cure" or "coping strategy" involves finding a way to get back in control again. Even if it's just in small little ways. Making small decisions and small changes in myself to improve things brings back my confidence that I can cope with what life throws at me and then I can claw my way back out of the pit.

Does that make any sense?

OlderNotWiser Fri 17-Oct-08 15:23:13

Dont know if this makes sense, but one day I realised my fear of it coming back was almost as bad as the actual made me anxious, that tended to tip me over into it again. I've since tried to just go with the flow and accept that I am going to be low for a bit, but reminding myself regularly that whilst it is grim, it does pass. (Tho I guess thats all very well for me, going with the flow wont work for everyone particularly if the depression is severe...)

I've also tried CBT before now which has helped, and I have become able to literally talk myself out of a depression. Challenging negative thought patterns has definitely been the answer for me. Have you tried this at all? I guess its more of a long term strategy that one.

The easiest way for me tho, if things haven't got too bad, is a sort of time out approach. Total change of scene, visit a friend who lives a long way away if possible. Without children ideally. Distance gives me space and a bit of respite from the head space Ive got into and things just seem different and usually a bit better. Can you disappear for a bit this weekend?

I hope I haven't sounded a bit too psychobabble! And I hope the depression passes quickly or even better, fades away..

wingandprayer Fri 17-Oct-08 15:29:34

Agree with everything above but would like to add don't drink alcohol to the list.

Have you got support who can help with the day to day things for now so you can get a bit more rest and sleep?

RoRoMommy Fri 17-Oct-08 15:36:28

Completely agree with prior posters, particularly RubberDuck and OlderNotWiser. CBT, or even just trying to reverse your negative thoughts, either with a positive one or, for me, a bit of perspective (asking myself, "What's the worst that could happen, and is it really that bad," the answer usually being no) is what really helps me. You have to be pragmatic when answering that question, though, rather than emotional and irrational, which is what depression can do to your brain. If you're close with someone who is more emotionally stable, you might ask them to help you answering the question so you don't get the depression tricking you into thinking that it really is that bad.

Good luck to you. I know exactly how you feel, and I find that getting in control of my environment helps immensely in my getting in control of my emotions (so, cleaning, sorting out my files or email, organizing).

RubberDuck Fri 17-Oct-08 15:51:20

Erm that should say maximum TEN words, not 3 words in my mantra - no idea where that typo came from! Sorry!

Getting away from it all, a la OlderNotWiser sounds good. Also, I find doing things that have an end product (ie not housework, cos you're just doing stuff that gets undone again!) feels more satisfying and emotionally productive, so could you possibly find a hobby that relaxes you, doesn't take too much brain power but finishes with an end product so you feel like you've ACHIEVED something?

Knitting in front of the telly ticks that box for me, but that might not float your boat

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