Recovering from a mood disorder

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Kazoo
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Postby Kazoo » Tue Jun 05, 2007 08:57 am

What I find is that when you do think about things ratioanlly then you know you need to push yourself to get on your bike and to job hunt etc, the problem is maintaining that positive thought train and to put everything else to the back of your mind. You have come along way since christmas and that is something you should be proud of and recognise as a positive. The job hunting will be slow but as you say the only one who can chage things is you, set yourslef little goals through the week like the counseller advised and stick to them no matter what, you're doing so well, and the fact that you can talk to different people aboput it and get different perspectives is fab.

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punkypossum
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Postby punkypossum » Tue Jun 05, 2007 13:27 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by guilliano</i>

I have my last of 7 CBT sessions tomorrow and I'm finding it is helping me to regain some part of a normal lifestyle, but the problem is it hasn't been in conjunction with "normal" councilling, meaning I still haven't really got to the bottom of what made me depressed in the first place. I had a major breakdown at the start of my illness where I just ran away from everything for a week, then when I came back I just fell apart mentally and emotionally. I can't go back to my current job, but financially can't afford to just up and leave it, so this burden sort of just hangs there prolonging everything even more.

Anti-depressants are OK in that they can help you concentrate and help you get a more natural sleep pattern, but they don't cure anything and I do find doctors are very quick to hand them out as to be honest there isn't much more they can do.

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I think that's partly why CBT has quite a high relapse rate, it is very much a quick fix but doesn't necessarily get to the root of the problem. Why don't you go and find yourself some "normal" counselling? It should help you keep going once your cbt is finished and might be more useful long-term by getting to the bottom of it all...

***************
I used to be Snowhite, but I drifted...

guilliano
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Postby guilliano » Thu Jun 07, 2007 09:21 am

Well, I had my last CBT session yesterday and after chatting away for 30 mins, pretty much having a recap of what we'd been through over the previous 6 sessions, I was surprised at how far I had come. The rest of the session was then more or less a positive reinforcement exercise and I came out feeling chuffed with myself, full of hope and having realised that quitting my current job and finding something new is the right thing for my recovery. I'm looking at my illness as an opportunity to find what I really want to do and work towards that, rather than constantly having the thought of going back to O2 and their incompetant ways hanging over my head. There are also some support groups around my area that will hopefully allow me to talk about losing my mum at my own pace, rather than sitting in a 1:1 session feeling like I have to talk even if I don't feel comfortable or feeling too self conscious (I don't like to let my feelings show).

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thedktor
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Postby thedktor » Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:41 am

As mentioned earlier the best self-help technique I have ever found is from the book "Stop Thinking and Start Living" by Richard Carlson. Better than any counselling by miles.

The book's essential point is that the way you feel is directly related to what you are thinking - think negative thoughts and you will feel bad.

My own "problem" is an over-active mind which, if its not got anything good to think about, will find something bad instead and make me feel cr@p.

The "solution" is to either turn your mind to good things, which is very hard sometimes, or just think nothing. Try it - really force yourself to not think anything at all and see how you feel - it is very, very hard but persevere!

In this state you might not feel "happy" but you won't feel depressed either which is the first step to recovery.

Most of us with this susceptible-to-depression personality (often closely linked to being artistic or creative people) will always crave for that "something" that will make us happy, when true happiness actually comes from within, not from external things.

The problem is that if we give up on that impossible search for that "something" we then become just like everyone else with "normal" lives and this is a very hard thing to come to terms with i.e.. just to be normal!

This then becomes the blocker to break out of depression - you want to be happy but don't want to "be normal".

But it is better to be happy and a little bit dissatisfied with life than to be miserable and with actually the same external aspects of your life.

Read that last sentence again.

And because you are so messed up you can't do anything constructive to improve things.

Get the book and be inspired.

Life is/will be hard, and it can/will be dull at times, whatever you do. But to tackle it in a happy state makes it much more pleasant than in a depressed state.

I repeat: Happiness come from within, stop thinking about it and start living it! (and I say that as someone who *really* appreciates how hard this is to apply).

In my 41 years I have experienced a lot of very difficult stuff to deal with and I can empathise with pretty much everything on this thread. If anyone would like to email me feel free - I may have some advice, and if not, experience first-hand how writing it down, "getting it out", and sharing with other people makes you feel that little bit better. Try it.

I hope all of you suffering find ways to improve your lives. Time WILL heal tragic events, and you might have physical problems that really grind you down, but only YOU can look after, and care for, your own mind.


Steve

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jackfeeder
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Postby jackfeeder » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:42 pm

Hi Steve,
that last post is uncanny - that is what I feel exactly!!!! I will try to get hold of that book you mention, perhaps before going back for more counselling.
It's wierd because a lot of the things that I thought were making me unhappy are beginning to turn around but I still feel exactly the same on some days - it's like if my life isn't perfect or exactly how I want it to be then I sruggle with it. I don't want to turn to medication so trying the self help route may be a good idea, thanks for the advice.

thedktor
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Postby thedktor » Mon Jun 11, 2007 15:16 pm

Well, spooky eh! I hope it is reassuring to know you are not alone, and there is hope, really.

Funnily enough my wife reminded me (again!) just a few days ago that when things aren't going right in my life I tend to overreact and get very negative and withdrawn. Which is something I try to prevent these days but unfortunately several things hit at the same time recently and I wasn't at my best....

Anyway, looking back now I know that I let my mind run wild with its negative thinking when I should have taken control and stopped it. One trick I find helpful in the "stop thinking and start living" technique is this: Every time something negative pops up in my head I replace it with a very neutral and easy to access thought of a warm and quiet deserted beach, waves lapping gently on the shore. Its very soothing, doesn't need much effort and stops the destructive thoughts dead in their tracks.

Each of us have to exercise control, and "train", our minds like we would a muscle.

So, a) acknowledge that you have a problem, and b) realise that you yourself has the most influence on how your mind works

You can spend hours and hours in therapy to work out why you are like you are, and days and more days thinking about it, but the past is gone and can't be changed.

So, you say to yourself "I feel bad because of a, b and c, ", (that's the acknowledgment bit) and then force yourself to stop thinking about it or anything else negative, it really is that basic.

But the book explains it much better than me!

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punkypossum
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Postby punkypossum » Thu Jun 14, 2007 22:53 pm

Just ordered a copy of "stop thinking start living", hopefully should be a fiver well spent - the dktors post described exactly how I feel, so it's worth a go...

Just in the process of working my way through "mind over mood" which is pretty good as well....

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konauk
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Postby konauk » Fri Jun 15, 2007 06:02 am

punkypossum....I bought 'stop thinking, start living' last week. Only recently finished readin the first chaptor, but its difficult to explain you just have to read it for it to make sense...

thedktor
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Postby thedktor » Fri Jun 15, 2007 07:50 am

Some interesting books to read out there for sure.

Of course the thing to remember is that you actually have to do something yourself i.e. put the effort in to improve things.

Thats usually the hardest part - it helps to have a sympathetic partner to give you a gentle nudge now and again, or a realisation that x or y will be affected if you don't sort things. (eg job, marriage, friendships etc)

TD

Aux1
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Postby Aux1 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 08:47 am

I think of the day when I found my first job as a turning point.

I had worries about the job... I knew stress brought on the depression, and I thought what if they use me too much at work, overstretch me, make me work long hours, make me do other people's work, be available all the time on my phone, have to come whenever they call, what if my condition starts worsening again, in short I had endless worries. But in the end, the job ended up being better than I ever expected it to be! I learn everything, I can do whatever they tell me to, nobody supervises me, all people incl. the bosses are really nice guys, there is no stress, no hurry, I can go from work earlier and make it up some other time, the atmosphere is relaxed, I work with smart cultured people, there is no competition, no bad talk... I think the guy in the sky Himself decided to give me a break after all the cr@p I had to put up with for a long time.

So, if your job is bad for your mental health, and you don't want to quit it because you don't know if you'll find another job, I'd still quit and get on with finding a new one at once. You never know, you might find a new one by chance even the next day! I did it immediately, applied to the first advert I liked and I got it! And I had worries, like, what if I won't fnd a job for months, what will it do to me, how will I cope with being at home having nothing to do all the time... But all that worry was unfounded. Most worries are! [;)]

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<font size="1">To clip or not to clip, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind of men to suffer the dings and contusions of unclipp'd riding, or to bind thy feet against a sea of gnarly singletrack and by these contraptions, ride o'er them with ease. To clip... to slip no more, and by clipping to end the buttache and the thousand natural shocks that ryders are heir to; tis a consummation devoutly to be honed. No clip - to slip perchance to be thrashed most heinously...</font id="size1">

KTM Ultra Flite 2007

adamskib
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Postby adamskib » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:02 am

I had a "bit of a glum period" a while back... the pills I took just made me fat and lazy, so I got a bike and went for a ride every day on my local roads... here I am now, addicted to getting out in the fresh air and feeling great.. kitesurfing and mountainboarding too!
BEST cure for feeling down (I dont like to use the word depression)is becoming more active, not getting medicated...well at my level anyway.

Aux1
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Postby Aux1 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 17:01 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by adamskib</i>

I had a "bit of a glum period" a while back... the pills I took just made me fat and lazy, so I got a bike and went for a ride every day on my local roads... here I am now, addicted to getting out in the fresh air and feeling great.. kitesurfing and mountainboarding too!
BEST cure for feeling down (I dont like to use the word depression)is becoming more active, not getting medicated...well at my level anyway.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I asked my psychiatrist if I should reduce my SSRI (paroxetine) dose since I'm fit now and ride my bike all the time, but she said to still keep the dose (15mg/day), she said my serotonin levels have been increased now and the pills will help make sure it remains that way, so I have a firm foundation to build the mood up on by my own actions. I trust her so I'll take her advice.
I even thought the pills didn't work, I took them for 2 or more months before things slowly started getting a bit better, I had some side effects (insensitivity down there [:I]) for a first month or two), but now I just take them and feel no effects, good or bad. However, she assured me they did build up the serotonin slowly.

However, I used to take 3 0.5 mg xanaxes a day and now I'm down to one or two, she says that's a clear indication of a big improvement, and maybe I won't be needing them in a couple of months at all!

No pills is my goal too... [:)]

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<font size="1">To clip or not to clip, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind of men to suffer the dings and contusions of unclipp'd riding, or to bind thy feet against a sea of gnarly singletrack and by these contraptions, ride o'er them with ease. To clip... to slip no more, and by clipping to end the buttache and the thousand natural shocks that ryders are heir to; tis a consummation devoutly to be honed. No clip - to slip perchance to be thrashed most heinously...</font id="size1">

KTM Ultra Flite 2007


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