Meditation, doing exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, adult colouring books, grounding techniques…..
These are just some of the coping methods that we can equip ourselves with in our battles with anxiety and depression. Some of these I have been doing for years. Others are ones which I have been made aware of because of the myriad of helpful and talented bloggers on here.
Yet, despite all of these options being available to us, is it actually possible to defeat this illness by use of just your own internal resources?
Personally speaking, I like to think that I am pretty adept at maintaining a healthy style that minimises the impact of a depressive episode. I weight train and box on a regular basis. I try to meditate at least a few times a week. I drink at least a few cups of green tea ( more on why it’s useful for your mental well being here) on a daily basis. I’ve even vastly decreased my alcohol intake – possibly my hardest obstacle of all. But guess what?
I still get depressed
The truth is I am a very closed off person. I always have been, and to some extent, I probably always will be. Its been a long time coming, but as of recent months I have accepted that, while I consider myself a strong and highly rational person, I cannot defeat this illness all by myself. So in light of this, I decided to take the following steps to remind myself that I am, in fact, not a terrible human being, and that it is okay to ask for help when I need it:
- I sent off an email the other day to IAPT, a programme that supports the frontline NHS in implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. It simply stated my current situation and my doctors recommendation that I engage with their service. I have engaged with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) before, but that was quite some time ago. While it is just a formal email, I hope that it is a small step which access to a therapist who will allow me to vent and, when necessary, reinterpret my negative thoughts about certain situations.
- I asked my mum to make a doctors appointment for me – a prospect I would have reacted with some measure of shame initially, considering that as a young adult I thought I should be more than capable of making a phone call to my local GP surgery. Yet this time, I felt no shame at all. I just accepted it. Just like if someone who had broken their arm needed help with opening a door, my illness dictates that on bad days, I might need help with talking to strangers on the phone.
However this is only my story. Perhaps your story does involve you managing your depressive and/or anxious symptoms all by yourself. If so, how do you manage to do so? Or perhaps like me, you came to terms with having to accept some kind of positive, external influence in order to cope with your illness. Whatever your view, I would love to hear from you!
Emotional support helplines:
Samaritans :116 123
Rethink Mental Illness advice line 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 09:30-16:00; local rate)
Sane Line:0845 767 8000
Mind also has a useful guide of support and services, which can be found by clicking the link right here