11.5.17

10 Things That Helped Me Overcome My Depression

How To Overcome Depression

As it's Mental Health Awareness week, I thought I'd share with you how I beat depression. From 2010- early 2016 I suffered with depression. Most of the time it was managable, but in 2015 it became unbearable and I really didn't want to live anymore. After a failed (thankfully) attempt at ending my life, I guess my mindset changed. You could say it was a bit of a wake up call, that I needed to try anything and everything to change how I was feeling. I was ready to kick it up the butt. So, here's a list of all the things I tried and successfully helped me get rid of the demon that is depression.

1. Medication
I know not everybody agrees with medication, but it worked for me. It was a last resort, and after suffering for years, the doctor finally suggested I went on it. Let me just add, a good GP will go through non-medicated options with you before putting you on medication, as it's not something they are keen on giving out. I tried escitalopram, sertraline, mirtazapine and finally quetiapine (what I'm on now). Escitalopram made my anxiety worse and made me feel so sick. Mirtazapine didn't help in the slightest, had no issues with it I didn't see any difference. The only ones that truly helped me were sertraline and quetiapine. Sertraline boosted my energy levels and reduced my anxiety levels by a lot, I literally felt buzzed off it. Quetiapine is what I'm still on now but I'm being weaned off and I only really use it for sleep reasons. It definitely helped stabilise my moods, and help me sleep which I think contributed to a lot of my problems. So yeah, it may take a while, but if you have tried everything else, perhaps medication might me something to suggest to your GP/psychiatrist.

2. Exercise
Now, I do not mean running for miles and miles on the treadmill or doing burpees. I aint about that life. By exercise I mean going for daily walks. If you follow me on twitter you know I love my daily walks. It helps me clear my head, and just the fresh air and the feeling of my legs moving instantly improves my mood.

3. Headspace
I've just re-signed up to this, as you now get it free with a student spotify membership! But, in my tough times, I used this religiously. I think for me, it was 10 minutes out of day that I wouldn't be thinking about anything else, other than the voice of the app and listening to my breathing. All negative thoughts were gone for that 10 minutes, and I looked forward to it everyday.

4. Candles
This may sound really sad (excuse the pun), but lighting a candle and just staring at it for 5-10 minutes really helped. I guess it's a form of meditaton. The smell of one makes me happy, especially a calming smell like lavender. But properly staring at a flame but completely made me focus, and forget any bad thoughts I had going on in that day.

5. Music
I created an up-beat music playlist. No slow songs or meaningful songs, just purely cheesey pop and upbeat dance music. That way, first thing in the morning I was feeling happier and wanting to dance around my room as the first thing I heard was happy music. Sounds silly, but it worked

6. Getting out
I know it's so hard to even leave your bed when you're depressed, trust me, I've been there. But I found the days I forced myself out of bed and even if I walked around the block a few times, I felt a tonne times better.  Although it's what you realy wanna do, and you haven't got the energy to leave, I found spending all day in bed didn't help.

7. Not being so hard on yourself
If you can't shower, eat, talk or leave your bed, it's fine. Don't treat it or yourself like a failure. Every day is a brand new day. Also, even if you manage to just brush your teeth that day, that's fine, you did something and you should be proud of that. The more I stopped comparing my daily achievements to others, I became happier.

8. Talking
To anyone, not just a therapist. I opened up to my Mum and a few of my closest friends, and I found that they were actually very empathetic. It's so scary to open up, and I didn't tell anyone for a while, but as soon as I did, it felt a weight was lifted off my shoulders. They were also my cheerleaders, pushing me to do things I didn't want to do, and cheering me on when I did those things.

9. Showering Every Day
When you're depressed, as I said, you don't even feel like leaving your bed nevermind showering. But, I found just even putting my face under there every day, made me feel more 'there' and like I had achieved something with my day. It is the little things eh?

10. Therapy
I've tried CBT and talking therapy. CBT was good for the 6 week period I had it, but I wouldn't do it longer than that personally. It helps you understand the concepts of self-help, talking, writing things down to help rationalise your thoughts. I think once I was taught that, I could really apply it for every day life. Saying that, there's loads of free online CBT sites that would be equally as good. When I relapsed with depression in 2015, my Mum decided it was a good idea to go to private therapy. Again, it worked for the first few weeks but as soon as I grapsed the concepts I wanted to do it by myself. Obviously the talking helepd too, and I can imagine it would help someone even more if they felt they had no one to talk to in their family or any of their friends.

By all means, I'm not saying these will help everybody, but they helped me.  I do think battling depression is all about self-teaching what works for you, and I learnt something new every week.
I hope these tips could help just one person! I'd love to hear any more tips, as I said, I learnt something new about battling depression each week!



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4 comments

  1. I take quetiapine, and have done for well over a year now and its been great for sleep like you say and I'm also on fluoxetine which has helped me a bit I think - great post, and good to see a post for mental health awareness week!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear it's helped, even if it's a little bit :) Thanks lovely!

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  2. Thanks for the heads up about the free headspace with Spotify student! I'd been emailed the offer about the combo subscription for £14.99 but had no idea you can get it as a freebie if you're already subscribed. Cheers :D

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