Saturday, 14 April 2018

How Can I Cope With Depression Without Medication?

As many of you all know, I suffer from mental health problems but I choose to be unmedicated with it. I feel that you cannot learn to live with a potentially lifelong illness if you are doped up with medication all the time. Mental health is still such a taboo subject to talk about and its often difficult to find the courage to ask for help, but you are by no means a failure if you do need help. Asking for help in times of needs is often a sign of strength and you will find that you are more courageous than you give yourself credit for.

Although I suffer from cyclothymia (a mild form of bipolar)and anxiety, mental health problems come in all shapes and sizes, if you have a few of these symptoms, then following some tips in this blog post can help you get back to feeling better.

  • Feeling empty, lost or unable to do anything.
  • lack of pleasure in all of the activities that you do.
  • Dramatic loss in weight
  • Unable to sleep or sleeping too much nearly every day.
  • Psychomotor changes, this means where you completely slow down or suddenly speed up things. (talking fast or really slow)
  • loss of energy nearly every day
  • Excessive feelings that you're worthless, unable to do anything positive
  • Lack of making decisions and being indecisive every day.
  • Thinking about death, suicidal thoughts and harming yourself every day.
Having mental health problems is not the end of the world, sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to find your way up again. The number of times that I have hit that rock bottom, but still come back to fight another day is too many to count. So how do I cope with my mental health?

Get out more - when we are feeling depressed, its a struggle to get out of bed and the thought of leaving the house can be horrifying. But if you do it, you will feel so much better, you don't need to go far or do anything special. Go and sit on the beach or in the garden, this gives you something different to focus on. Often when we are indoors and feeling depressed, the black cloud that we have over us, suddenly covers the whole house and makes it all seem so depressing. Getting out means you leave that whole black cloud area.

Counselling - This is possibly the most important one for someone suffering from mental health problems or depression. We often feel like there is nowhere to turn, we don't want to hurt our loved ones and we don't want to burden them with the worries that are going around in our head. There are so many benefits from counselling, from having that time every week to discuss your problems openly with a counsellor who will understand and has been trained to a high level to empathise with you whilst finding ways to work through your problems together. The session will also give you time to confront your problems, demons or scary moments without feeling judged. Counselling sessions work as a  place to show your emotions and know that someone is there to understand and care about how you're feeling and sharing your problems in a counselling session means you can look forward to the future, knowing that you can find ways to cope with the bad days. Talking to someone means that you're offloading everything in your head and suddenly everything seems so clear again. We often have so many worries going on in our head that it all seems to be going round and round. Speaking to a counsellor will instantly lift your mood and your spirits because you feel like you're ready to fight the depression again. Unfortunately, with the NHS, there is a huge waiting list for people awaiting counselling so you can always find alternatives yourself and have an appointment much sooner. You can often find counsellors near you, onlineRemember, a problem shared is a problem halved!

Mindset - When I was first diagnosed with severe PND after I had Tilly, I was stuck in the mindset of negativity, I really couldn't see the light and I thought that suicide was my only option. It turns out that it wasn't! I saw a psychiatrist and he helped to change my mindset, but I fought him the whole way, it wasn't until I was ready to change my mindset that I started to change it. The person I credit with this is Rebecca Adams, we became social media friends after meeting at a friends house and she is such a positive person in her life and that radiates out to everyone that knows her. She posts positive comments and phrases and although you might only briefly see them as you scroll through on your phone, the quotes and phrases stay in your mind. Rebecca is now hosting Ignite, an international event in Bath in September where she has managed to get lots of inspirational people together to talk to you about how can motivate yourself, inspire yourself and gain confidence to see the world as a more positive place and face everything head on. Everybody needs a Rebecca Adams in their life! I now make sure that mindset is very much a part of Tilly's life now because we always talk about how beautiful she is, how tough she is and how clever she is. Mindset is all about changing how you feel about yourself.

Mood Food - We can often help ourselves to feel better with the foods that we choose to eat. How many times have you had 'that time of the month' and you crave chocolate? Dark chocolate is believed to contain anti-oxidants that actually lift your spirits, but don't overindulge. Fruit and veg will help to lift your spirits because they are naturally full of vitamins and you feel healthier as you're eating it. Oily fish contains omega 3, which is a key nutrient for lifting our spirits. Our body can't produce omega 3, so eating the oily fish is a fantastic way of getting it into your body. Omega 3 also alters our brain chemicals that are linked to our moods. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression and suicidal thoughts, while dopamine is a happy chemical that the brain releases in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating or having sex.



Meditation and mindfulness - stress and daily problems really don't help when you have depression and sometimes it is stress that leads to a full depressive meltdown. Eliminating the stress should help you to cope with the depression a lot easier, making things easier to see. There are a few ways of managing stress like meditation and mindfulness. These help you to see the how the present moment in time can help us to enjoy the world more. It helps us to stand back and notice when the patterns of depression are forming and eventually you will train yourself to realise when your black cloud moments are coming, then you realise they are simply just momentary depressive thoughts, that you can't control and you will soon feel back to normal when they pass. This works really well with Mindset

There are so many ways that you can help yourself to feel better, and I am always available to talk to you and help you to get help. You can message me on my Facebook page, and I will get back to you asap. 

Collaborative post

13 comments:

  1. Hello, Vicky. It is great that you have decided not depend on medication to overcome the depression. Even now you can offer your help to whoever has the depression problem. I salute you from the bottom of my heart.

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  2. Vicky, wow! what can I say - this is a truly magnificent post and about a topic that may be quite taboo for a lot of people to talk about and it takes courage so I'm sending you lots of love.

    Personally, can I just say - you have just made me cry. Thank You SSSOOO much by your lovely kind words in what I do. It means so much to me to know I've helped you even if a little bit, you have no idea. Mindset is key for every single person on the planet and it can lock us against ourselves for years and even decades. Gaining control of your mindset and releasing the negativity inside your own head is a major task but it can be done. I'm sending you lots of strength and love.x

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  3. Such a great post to talk about how you have been feeling to help others. I do think that what we eat and take into our bodies can certainly have an impact on our overall health, as well as mental health, for sure.

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  4. This is such a great post; I too suffer from depression but choose not to be medicated. Lifestyle certainly plays a huge role, and exercise is my #1 mood booster - all those endorphins really do help.

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  5. Doctors are too quick to pass heavy meds for depression in my opinion,you handle yours like I do....I write whenever I feel down or full of pain. Writing helps me stay balanced.

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  6. As someone who has suffered with depression previously, I am so grateful you wrote this post. I found medication helped me somewhat but it’s all about changing your habits and mindset if you want to actually learn to handle depression long term.

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  7. Some great tips there, it is so important we speak more about mental health and end the stigma. When I had PND I found talking was the most important thing for me. Mich x

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  8. These days most people suggest medication but it is different for everyone, thanks for sharing the alternative hun.

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  9. I’ve suffered with depression for many years, tried various medications and just never feel any different. So I’ve decided against taking tablets and actually physically doing something instead. I switched to nights at work as that helped my anxiety and I’ve also started a Beauty course as make up is my coping mechanism. I want to keep trying alternative methods so really enjoyed reading this post, knowing I’m not the only one.

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  10. I recently encountered medication shaming from a friend of the family. It wasn't directed at me, but it made my blood boil. She said she didn't believe in taking medication for mental health. It can be essential for people with problems like schizophrenia or tourettes, etc. Sometimes not taking medication means there is a risk to life.

    I think you're right in the alternatives to help people, particularly with the good nutrition suggestion :)

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  11. This is a really honest, helpful post for anyone suffering with mental health issues like bipolar or depression. I know a lot of people rely on medication to help them through, but like you, I choose more "natural" forms of help. Running is something I'm trying to get into x

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  12. this is such a great post, very relatable for people who have suffered or suffer from the same. It’s great that you found a way to cope without medication, thank you for sharing!

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  13. Love this post. I, too, suffer from depression and I also have avoided medication at all costs. I feel that medicating yourself can sometimes just temporarily block the problem rather than properly addressing the root of the issue. I do, however, understand that medication does work for many people. Lots of people close to me have found it to be very helpful. This post is great - I agree with everything that you have written. Counselling can be so beneficial and even just getting out and watching what you eat can help in so many different ways.

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