How to combat depression

Great things mentioned already like:

are fantastic in particular.

I know you said you’ve had issues with therapists in the past. Just like any other profession there are terrible ones and there are good ones. Maybe try again and look for recommendations. Even therapists and doctors are being rated online these days. Sometimes you have to really look to find a good fit.

I think the swimming would be great for you. Good exercise and invigorating without hurting your pregnant body. Even people who haven’t exercised in forever can just walk in a pool and get good exercise.

A lot of people who are depressed fold into themselves and stay stagnant. Every day you should take a shower, put on clean clothes, and get outside even if you’re just standing out in your own yard for 15 minutes. You get a little sunshine and get some deep breathing in the fresh air.

With the suggestion of writing things out I suggest a gratitude journal. About 10 years ago I started documenting 3 things each day I’m grateful for. I’m not talking the ol standbys of my health, a roof over my head and food to eat (although if you’re having a TERRIBLE day you can go with those from time to time) I’m talking about the little things. Force yourself to find a few little things each day to celebrate. The more you do it the more it becomes habit and you’ll find that you’re looking at things differently. You start to appreciate all the little good things. You might have things like “Hit all green lights on the way to work.” or “Great parking spot at the store.” or “Great hair day.” or “Listened to opera for an hour today without interruption.” Whatever you find joy in. If you look for things to be grateful for, you’ll find them. If you look for reasons to be depressed or lacking, you’ll find those as well. Reset your brain.

On that note, if you’re into reading you might check out a book that I know has helped some of my friends with self esteem issues. It teaches about the processes of the brain and how to retrain yours.

Good luck.

I find that talking about my problems helps. Not just with therapists or “qualified” people, but friends, and also message boards like this one. :slight_smile:

You can’t “kill” your thoughts any more than you can kill a cloud you don’t like. Thoughts come, whether you want them to or not. The key is in how you view them and deal with them, and that you recognize that they’re just words in your head that have no physical ability to hurt you.

One method to deal with those thoughts goes something like this: think of a thought that you normally have trouble with, such as “I’m worthless”. Concentrate on that thought for a minute or two, really get into it and notice how it makes you feel.

Now change that thought to read “I’m having the thought about how I’m worthless”. Concentrate on that for a minute or two and note how it makes you feel. This is a method of stepping back from your troubling thoughts by putting yourself in an observer role.

This is the opening part of the book “The Happiness Trap”, which is about ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy). And yes, the goofy voices is another way to help unhook yourself from negative thoughts.

This is so true. Many times, the problems that we deal with we deal with internally and all alone; never sharing them or even vocalizing them aloud. Sometimes, just the simple act of saying what your problems are can really help articulate and clarify things in a way that is simply not possible when your thoughts are trapped in the auto-loop that is your own head.

Yes, and sometimes talking about our issues makes them seem more normal. Sometimes my depression can make me feel so isolated and separate from the rest of the world, but if I say to someone, ‘‘I’m feeling depressed right now,’’ I realize it’s just normal human drama. I’ve also found that I don’t even have to talk about what’s bothering me, all I have to do is talk about anything with someone I love and I start to feel better.

This thread is full of good advice. ACT really works well for me too… I love CBT but I had a tendency to get locked in a cognitive battle with my healthy vs. unhealthy self. It’s so liberating to just stop fighting and let myself think and feel whatever I happen to think and feel, without it having to mean anything one way or the other. It’s not the thoughts you eliminate but your attachment to those thoughts or your belief that they must always be true.

I also like ACT because a lot of the ‘‘defusion’’ techniques are really creative and fun, and you can make up your own. I like to imagine my darkest thoughts are being sung by a chorus of muppets, and one of my favorite learned exercises is making ‘‘pain creatures’’ in my mind and deciding what they look and act like. (For example, ‘‘depression’’ is a big, grey squooshy square on stubby little legs that likes to stomp on things.) It helps me feel more objective about what I’m going through.

In my case, depressions are exogenous (i.e., always caused by something external, there is always something I can point to as causing the depression) and not very deep. What to do depends on what’s caused it: boss trying to screw me over? Switch jobs. Sun on vacation? Blue light lamp. Also, when the cause involves someone trying to screw me over, I get mad when I realize it, which is a pretty fast way to move from depression to the warpath. I realize this makes me very lucky.

In your case, there is a combination of internal and external causes. There are some pinpointable causes, but they’re not something you can chuck (at least some of them are not). First, do your husband and some other people close to you (other than us imaginary friends) know about your current depression? I understand not wanting to load your husband even more, but he needs to know about this, same as he’d need to know if you were coming down with a bout of malaria. Depression is a recurring illness, not some sort of voluntarily-acquired defect; treat it as much as possible like any other illness, and this involves letting the person you live with know that a flare-up is trying to raise its ugly head. Remember than us imaginary friends are always here and willing to listen, we get imagined on shifts :slight_smile:

For exercise, I’m lousy at most things that qualify for such a name, but going for a walk at athletic-march speeds helps clear my mind. Sometimes house work does: cleaning those piles of Old Stuff which I never get around to cleaning when in a normal mood, reorganizing the books or the pantry… huh, I just realized most of the things I do when I need to “clean and organize” my mind involve cleaning and organizing my space. Heh.

I do need to tell my hubby, I am thinking at my next OBGYN visit I will mention it to my doctor in my husband’s presence. I know that is a round about way to do it, but I am more comfortable doing it that way.

I know this sounds a little corny, and I don’t know how helpful it is, but sometimes I find that encountering something funny helps to make me feel better when I’m down. YouTube videos can help here.
It may be a bit of a “quick fix”, and the effects may not last long, but I find it can help me a little.

I’ve had it 4 a time and i think the only way to cure it is a 38 behind the ear !!!

One of my primary goals, when I feel like I am getting depressed because of a situation (like pregnancy, for example) is to make sure I don’t make that depressive hole any bigger than it needs to be. I’m not quite sure how to explain it exactly - but for example, once you are through the pregnancy and the early months with a baby, you don’t want to find that you have wrecked your body by taking bad care of it while depressed, etc.

Absolutely find a way to start exercising again. Fuel your body as best you can. Figure out what will work so that you can avoid it affecting your kids more than is needed (perhaps that is medication). Make sure your spouse understands so he can give you space, and support; you shouldn’t need to put a “brave face” on for him as much as you do for your kids.

Find things that lift your mood, like the quilting, or whatever else you can find, and use them often, as often as you can.

No it’s not man. Just one thought: you don’t know what the future may bring. I sure didn’t, but I am damned sure glad that I bothered to stick around to find out.

I am chronically depressed and have been for several years now. Mine is the helpless, listless, hopeless type. I tried many different antidepressants; either they didn’t work at all or they made me even more depressed (Zoloft, in particular, gave me what I can only describe as a minor mental breakdown).

Still, one might work for you, but be careful. Recently I have seen commercials from ambulance chasers claiming that many of the most popular antidepressants have caused birth defects.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works.

This is a warning for you. Do not post like this again, it is completely out of line.
Giving advice is one thing, but this is not the sort of thing you tell someone who is looking for this type of advice.

I just ignored it

Exercise. Hard, vigorous exercise that makes you bust a sweat for at least 20 minutes, at least three times a week.

I concur.

Her eyes, especially. :wink:

Thanks guys. I do appreciate the compliments.

My Grandmother used to make patchwork quilt covers by hand (no machine required). She’d cut a template out of card (a hexagon for good tessellation) and sew the most beautiful quilts that did indeed become family heirlooms. I know she took a great deal of satisfaction in creating beautiful things form fabric scraps (and fabric that had meant something to her and others - like old kids clothes). So a good idea, I reckon.

I finally picked out my fabric for the quilt I want to make.
What do you think??

I am probably a little overexcited about making it, because it is just a quilt, but whatever :smiley:

I found out a couple of days ago we are having another girl so that was the inspiration for the colors and patterns. I didn’t want to make a too girly quilt but I did love the floral/paisley patterns and the blues, greens, red, and slivers in the fabrics I chose.