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What do you do when you feel yourself 'sliding' into that black mood?

(25 Posts)
alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 11:01:07

I feel that i can cope quite well now, and when i do feel down i know it isn't permanent and that there is usually a cause (stress, tiredness etc) and that is definitely going to get better at some point.

It has taken me a few years to get to this point and although i know that it is a big step in itself i really hate it when i feel it creeping in again iyswim?

I wondered what other people do when they are in this situation. What do you find helps, makes it worse etc?

Threadworm2 Fri 10-Jul-09 11:09:41

Sorry you are feeling low.

For me, it depends how bad the blackness is. Sometimes it is enough just to do some exercise or force myself into a change of scene (a day out somewhere or whatever), or make sure I get a couple of good nights of sleep.

But sometimes the blackness has a special vertiginous quality to it and I know I have to do something more -- think about a return to anti-depressants for example.

The truth is that usually I will do nothing, because the blackness is accompanied by awful inertia. That being the case, one strategy is to force yourself to make a list of a few things you are beating yourself up for not doing; then do them.

alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 11:14:16

I find i have to force myself to do anything. All i feel like doing is going back to bed and not because i'm tired as such, just that i am tired of being awake iyswim?

Before i had DD i would just go to bed for the day, but obviously it is not an option now. The difference now is that i really want to snap out of it, whereas before it was more consuming and it didn't matter if i didn't do anything.

Threadworm2 Fri 10-Jul-09 11:22:12

Did going to bed for the day help, when it used to be possible? If it did, perhaps the laziest day possible is the best thing now. DVDs and pizza. Or did it make you feel worse? -- in which case it might be better to force yourself out and be active.

I can remember when my dc were little the days sometimes hung like a stone around my neck. They seemed never to end.

toolly Fri 10-Jul-09 11:25:39

You have to know that the misery is finite. It will end and you will ride it out. Tell someone sympathetic and who really understands depression and won't try misguided attempts to jolly you out of it. I have used visualisations, (very cliche ones). In the dark tunnel, seeing a pinprick of light, slowly trudging my way towards it.
Acceptance of the way you are and that it will pass. If you really feel you are slipping into the slough of despond, GP ASAP.
As threadworm suggests, know your triggers and find a way of avoiding or ameliorating them. Treat yourself kindly, (like you would if you were getting over the 'flu) you need, good food, rest, and peace.
Lots of love to you

alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 11:38:02

Thank you toolly smile

I used to find that going to bed wouldn't help me feel better, but would pass the time quicker til i did.

I have only ever been on AD once and i hated it. I don't feel that i need them. I did have counselling when i was at college, but i find it very hard to talk about this. Dh understands and i don't need to explain it to him, he just knows and is there. I am the one that everyone else comes to because i am a cheery, bubbly outgoing person (on the outside) and i very rarely let my guard down.

alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 15:20:04

I also think one of the reasons for this time is the fact that we have been quite busy the last month or so, had a pg scare, which i was gutted about when it turned out to be a false alarm and i feel that i am neglecting my horses and have considered getting rid of them, which has made me feel even worse.

I am slowly losing all confidence in myself, which i'm very aware of and i don't like it but feel unable to stop it.

smallblessings Fri 10-Jul-09 18:49:13

Hi Alice,

Sorry you are feeling down. I have suffered from depression since my teens. I agree that you need to be gentlr with yourself, take care of you. Depression is an illness just as a physical one is. Since retreating to bed does not help and is not an option - what do you think might help. I find at my lowest I need to go to bed wgen dh around otherwise I either try and do things for me or be lazy, v. little housework, takeaways etc. keep talking on here. smile

coveredinsnot Fri 10-Jul-09 20:02:22

I'm not very good at this myself, so reading this thread with interest and for inspiration! I think that hardest thing to do when feeling the black cloud descend is anything but that is exactly what you need to do - anything! Anything at all helps me. I always find when I feel really low that I want other people to notice and know exactly what I need to help me feel better. It never happens (obviously), but I still wait and get more pissed off and low - it's kind of ridiculous when I think about it, but that's just how I feel when I'm low. I want to be rescued, I run out of my own ideas and I want someone to come along and say, 'Hey! Let me give you a great big hug. Here, have this wonderful home-cooked meal that I've prepared with total love, let me nourish you and hug you and make you feel all lovely and cosy, then you can share all your woes with me and I'll listen and only problem-solve when the time is right, the rest of the time I'll just be totally empathic....' I'm obviously totally delusional when low!!! So, I find doing something nice for myself slowly but surely brings me round. Saying that, it's not been working recently as my doc wants to start me on ADs which is a topic for another thread...!

But I guess my answer to the OP is just do something, anything, preferably something nice or something that will make you feel nice once it's done (like changing the sheets on the bed, having a nice warm bath then getting into the bed and reading some distracting book... I never do this, but it sounds great and so I highly recommend it!)

Really I think what I'm saying is be nice to yourself - the thing with depression or black clouds or anxiety is the never-ending-beating-oneself-up nonsense, it just gets so out of hand. Being nice to yourself contradicts the negative internal monologue and can feel a little weird as a result, but I think actions speak louder than words, and if you can show that internal menace that you actually do and can take care of yourself, then you're over halfway there.

I hope this at least made a little bit of sense... hmm

alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 20:45:19

Thank you SB smile

covered that is exactly how i feel! Why can't people 'know' when i'm feeling down. It has been very difficult to admit on here that i'm struggling at the moment and i could never do it in real life.

I had a friend who i haven't seen in a couple of months (she has been busy working) text me earlier inviting me over for coffee next week, that cheered me up quite a bit. Well, enough to be able to get up and cook dinner, which i think is as good as anything. Just getting through each half hour at a time will do for now.

It is such a vicious circle though. I start to feel down, which makes me lethargic, which makes me feel worse, which in turn makes me cross at myself for being so pathetic, which knocks my confidence......and so it goes on. Only this time i have decided to try to talk about it to see if that is any help, as i usually just clam up.

FlyMeToDunoon Fri 10-Jul-09 20:53:33

Music helps me.
I put my ipod on and all my favourites come on. I skip the miserable ones [dangerous ground] and escape into the music.
Often end up dancing which also helps.

alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 20:59:14

I went through a phase when i was a teenager (when i first started having problems) of listening to really depressing music, which made me worse (surprised? hmm) so now i try to steer clear of music when i feel like this as i only get drawn to dreary stuff. I think it may be a good idea to make a playlist when i am happy to play when i am down, it may work better that way smile

Sorry, i am being a miserable old bag today blush

coveredinsnot Fri 10-Jul-09 21:29:21

Glad to hear your friend has been in touch. Funny how things like that can make such a difference How about arranging to meet up with some more people? Or just having a text char (nothing serious) with someone? Distraction is quite helpful. Are you planning on talking to your friend about how you're feeling? I imagine if you do you'll find it easier than you imagine. I know what you mean about getting through every half hour. I often feel like that - it's tough, especially when you have a baby to look after.

But I think it's really interesting that your friend getting in touch lifted your mood so much. Don't you? You need more of that! What can you do to get more of that precious social contact?

coveredinsnot Fri 10-Jul-09 21:30:00

meant to say 'text chat' sorry!

alicecrail Fri 10-Jul-09 21:51:21

I have another friend of mine coming over next week too, which is also something to look forward too. Tbh, Facebook has helped an enormous amount, as since having to finsh work, i found i only had a couple of friends left, but through facebook i have got back in touch with loads.

I go to parent/toddler things at least 3days a week, but it can be so easy to not bother going if you feel a bit down. I try to make myself go as i nearly always feel better afterwards.

It is very self-absorbed of me to think i am the only person to feel that life has moved on without them iyswim, but that is the feeling i get. I know i am seen as very lucky by many people and realistically i am, but that makes me feel like i am spoilt and not appreciating what i've got - which i do!

I feel like i'm moaning now blush thank you for putting up with me smile

Time for a bath and bed i think smile

Mithered Sat 11-Jul-09 09:53:05

Alice
How are you feeling this morning? I too am feeling like you hereThere is some good advice on here too.

Exercise is really good to help lift your mood but as you know sometimes just the thought of it is depressing. How about yoga or some relaxation therapy/CD? The most important time is finding time for yourself. Covered has put it very eloquently that you want someone to look after you as described however you can do it for yourself.

It sounds like you are feeling a bit isolated too while you are off work. Are you on mat leave or have you finished permanently so SAHM?

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 09:58:53

I find exercise helps long term, but it's often the last thing you feel like doing in the short term.

I am afraid I tend to 'spend' - which I wouldn't advise as it never works (except for a temporary rush in the shop).

I think I need to introspect when I feel like this and just think, read, let my mind wander. That probably doesn't sound very helpful, but I feel for me, I need to sort things out in my head, and I think 'life' often gets in the way of allowing you space to do this. It can all get 'too much' if you don't have enough time/space on your own occasionally, IMO.

Rubyrubyrubyislosing7lbs Sat 11-Jul-09 10:02:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alicecrail Sat 11-Jul-09 10:11:23

Sorry to see you are suffering too mithered sad

Today i got up feeling a bit manic and hyper and rushed around doing stuff, and for some reason i am stressing about the state of the pillows hmm I am feeling a bit calmer now though, but with it has come the down feeling too. I do feel better than yesterday though.

I am now a SAHM. I used to work with racehorses before pg, then i did some waitressing/bar work, but since having dd it is pretty impossible to go back as DH works different hours each week, so i haven't got childcare.

I help out about 6days a month at the yard where my horses are. They have competitions there, but DD comes with me, and although i enjoy it, it stresses me a bit too, having to look after a toddler as well as help iyswim?

I have lost my confidence with the horses, which i think is a big part of why i feel like i do now. I used to be good at what i did, but now it scares me to be around other horses and i feel that i have lost a very big part of me.

Zahora Sat 11-Jul-09 12:19:44

Here's a list of things that instantly make me happy when I'm starting to get that out of control spiral into the abyss:

1. Food. Healthy delicious food. Take care of yourself from the inside out. I love grilled salmon with a green leafy salad. Easy to cook. And it takes you out of the house or order online if the weather's miserable. Plus it's shopping, but not the kind you'll regret. Stay away from bad food, it'll only make you feel worse and fatter. Drink hot water and lemon and think about how the water is nourishing every single cell in your body as you drink : )

2. Clean. Clean the house. Something. Set one task like to re-organise wardrobe or kitchen cupboards. It makes me feel so much better...and clearing clutter clears the mind like nothing else.

3. Call someone. Talk to a friend.

4. This is my top one. Write a gratitude journal every single day. It's hard to find something to be grateful for sometimes, but it's amazing how you start noticing the world around you...and the small things especially;) Buy a beautiful diary and keep it by your bedside. I'm finding it hard to keep it to one thing, I end up writing a page of about 5 things that I'm grateful for.

5. Change your mantra. Honestly, the voice in your head that is keeping you in the dark...will disappear. Have a stronger voice repeating 'I am safe', or 'Whatever happens is happening for my best insterest.' If nothing else, say 'Ommmmmmm'. and listen to your breathing, it will be ok.
Sorry if this is long, but I find this has helped me stay off ADs. Hoope this helps ((((((((((huggggsssss))))))))

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 12:44:21

Zahora, that is brilliant advice.

alicecrail Sat 11-Jul-09 18:13:55

That is a very good list. I think i am going to print out this, so that is easily accessable when i am feeling crap.

I am feeling so much better this afternoon. DH has got the afternoon off work, and we have done the horses together and just spent the afternoon pottering about which has really lifted my mood.

Thank you all again smile

Mithered Sat 11-Jul-09 20:00:03

Alice I have just bumped a thread which helped me a while ago that Rhubarb did which is quite similar to Zahora.

Hope this helps and glad you are feeling better. Is there no way that you can get someone to look after DD while you are doing your horses? It is a lot to ask of yourself to look after a toddler and sort horses. Maybe this is why you have lost your confidence - more about worrying about DD instead of focusing on what you love?

Zahora Sat 11-Jul-09 20:25:58

Thanks alicecrail ((((huggsss)))) and Mrs Bean; ) I'm glad I could help. xx

p.s mumsnet is brilliant

alicecrail Sat 11-Jul-09 20:29:38

I agree Zahora! Last night i really felt awful, and i came across a thread on here that soon had me crying with laughter. I have tried everything during the last week to make me smile, and nothing has worked, but after reading that, i managed to go to bed feeling just a little bit better and so i slept better, and it just broke the vicious cycle.

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