Here are some of this weeks questions and my responses
How do I ease depression naturally?
Depression is a terrible all consuming illness. When it hits you, it hits you hard. On bad days I feel like its beating me into submission. It’s like I’m stuck in quick sand and it’s pointless fighting it as I’ll just sink deeper, risking being completely overwhelmed by it. On such days I try to use one of my positive mantras to remind me that there is still hope. I say to myself ‘tomorrow the sun will rise on a new day’ meaning even though I’m feeling like crap right now, soon I will have a chance to start a fresh. I have learnt to accept my bad days and in turn I appreciate my good ones much more, and make the most of these moments of respite.
So In answer to your question, it’s not easy to ease depression naturally, I rely heavily on my medication. However there are simple things you can do such as having hobbies and interests you can use as a welcome distraction. I often go outside and do some gardening. I figure If I’m going to be sat feeling miserable I might as well be miserable outside doing something useful! Once I concentrate on the task in hand and start to see my progress, I begin to feel a little better in myself. Any kind of exercise is good as it results in endorphin’s being released in your brain that make you feel happier.
reading, writing, cooking, listening to music, painting, it doesn’t really matter it’s what ever works for you. I find looking through old photo albums and reminding myself of happier times can sometimes be of benefit.
All these things aside though, sometimes I just have to accept and go with it, remembering that tomorrow is a new day.
What is an effective treatment for generalized anxiety disorder without medication? I’ve been experiencing this illness for almost 10 years.
Surround yourself with as many positive people as you can. My friends are like a huge protective bubble for me.
Visit online support groups to here from like minded people and gain advice, but if these people become too negative remove yourself immediately.
Counselling helped me. I appreciate it’s not for everyone but I found it easier to open up to a stranger who had managed to create a safe environment for me to do so. It also helped me understand myself better and what triggered my anxiety attacks. This in turn made them easier for me to manage.
Graded exposure therapy has and continues to be a huge benefit for me. Not long since I was at a stage were I was too anxious to leave the house on my own. I had a carer come and take me out, but a friend is just as good. We would have a set plan such as getting to the corner shop and back and we would brake it down into manageable sectors. Every week I would try to get to the next sector on my own. Gradually as my confidence increased I was able to achieve my goal. This can work on smaller or larger challenges, you just need someone you can trust and who has a lot of patience.
Mindfulness meditation and simple breathing exercises helps me to remain in the present and concentrate on the task in hand. It stops me looking to far ahead, which is one of the main factors of my anxiety. I recommend a book called ‘mindfulness for dummies’ to get you started.
Finally I recommend you view my post on living with anxiety and depression. In this I share several coping methods which have worked for me.
What should I do if I hate my life?
This question was asked by a thirteen year old girl who divulged much more information about her state of mind. I have chosen not to include this for her own dignity, but needless to say I was very saddened by her story and it took me back to my own experiences as a teenager. When people are in such a low place it’s very difficult to know what to same to be of any comfort. I was desperate to help her but the truth is she needs more professional advice than I’m able to offer. Never the less I tried to answer her question.
I’m so sorry that your feeling this way, it sounds like your having a difficult time at the moment. At your age I had an extremely low opinion of myself, in fact I hated most things about myself. I struggled fitting in and thought that I hated life. I was encouraged to go to the doctors who decided to get me an appointment with a child psychologist. This was the best thing for me, it really helped to have someone to open up to who didn’t judge me. He gave me some great advice and taught me the importance of standing tall and being proud of myself. I really think you would benefit from having someone to talk too.
You say that your ugly but I doubt very much this is true. Its so easy to stand in front of a mirror and work your way from head to toe, highlighting all the things your not happy with. We all do this at some point, but what you have to remember is what you see in yourself is often a totally different person than what others see in you. Everyone is unique, we all come in various shapes and sizes, and were all attracted to different qualities in each other. Its ok to be different.
As for you feeling like you have no talent, I’m sure this isn’t true either. when you’re feeling down on yourself it’s hard to see the positive. But everyone is good at something and I bet you have a lot to offer, You just don’t realise your potential yet. Fair enough you don’t like yourself very much at the moment but you’re only 13, you’re changing all the time, your still discovering things. I’m still learning about myself and I’m 36!
In conclusion please don’t give up on yourself and please ask for help.