In the dumps

8 Nov 2019
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Hi all, thought I'd have another attempt at this blog thing since my last 'what it's like being depressed'. I must say I was pretty overwhelmed at the response and it gave me some sense of it don't feel abnormal', however my general mood pretty much is in the dumps and it seems to shift not matter how hard I try as I still feel lost.

Now, this might sound like a 'poor me' cry for help and it probably deep down is as I can't make sense of things and can't pinpoint exactly what is causing these awful 'I'm not worthy' feelings. Not even continuous exercise is helping lift it! Struggling with sarcasm/sarcastic people... how do you deal with it in general? Trying to tackle one thing at a time and to understand whether being depressed is causing me to take things personally...

I wonder...maybe you can share your experiences with me?

Hugo

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Comments

Mortimer

Nov. 8, 2019, 7:39 a.m.

Hi Hugo, good blog, well done. This is my take - the hippocampus (or hippocampi, there's two of the *******) do the memory bit and emotions, filtering and protecting us from all the "noise" from outside; and yes, when I'm depressed all the rubbish gets through and I can't deal with it, it drowns me, flippant comments, teasing, criticism, sarcasm all hit home and flatten me still further . Seratonin is the cement that holds the walls together of the hipocampi. Loss of seratonin leaves cracks and gaps in the wall, staring off the process of letting the garbage in. What garbage gets in, and how you deal with it, seems to be related genetically and to upbringing. Sort out the serotonin levels by medication, exercise, sitting in the sun, reading, ignoring the world, meanwhile try to identify your particular triggers; in your case possibly sarcastic comments. And deal with those by being, somehow, brave enough to have a pop at the deliverer of said comments. A cathartic exercise, and often by "standing up" for oneself against a family member, colleague, friend you'll find they'll back down, or just heave them out of your life if at all possible. Practicing standing up for oneself is hard but in the end effective.Not enjoyable if one is the peacable sort and against arguments and loud voices, but none-the-less it works, it's just another tool to learn how to use, an "act" if you will. As someone said to me once, us gents "have to grow a set" somehow or another, don't let it take you a lifetime as it has me!

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Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 9:34 a.m.

What a great reply, Mortimer - standing up for oneself is one of the hardest things to do...I wish I could deliver a comeback when I’m being spoken to sarcastically! Only ever think of a retort hours later! Bear x

Nicco

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:45 a.m.

I'm the same, Bear - only thnk of a retort hours later. I try to think of possible scenarios & retorts to them beforehand but that's projecting & catastrophising, i suppose.

Nicco

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:53 a.m.

Thanks for your interesting reply, Mortimer - that explains why all the horrible things people have said & done to me in the past come back ro haunt & taunt me when I'm going through a bad patch of depression. I do try to stand up for myself - not always easy as i grew up in a very violent household so knowing where the boundaries are & finding/reacting in the right way is tricky - i always feel wounded to the core & have a hard time coming back from that.

Lesley

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:08 a.m.

I am the same, Bear. I too cannot think of a retort or even a reply. When people are aggressive towards me (one in my workplace) it feels like a malevolent wave bowls me over. I am speechless. I now visualize this person as a yappy wee dog with a ghastly ribbon on its head.

Nicco

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:12 a.m.

Lesley, you have conjured up a great visualisation! I will certainly try that technique.

Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:34 p.m.

Interesting reply, I used to have quite a few comebacks to sarcasm but somehow have lost it and actually I don’t want to play that game anymore. I’ve decided to not get involved but does that mean I’m not interacting with people? Might seem off standish...or should I not care? Thanks for your point of view :-)

Hopeful One

Nov. 9, 2019, 8:05 a.m.

Hi Mortimer- lets not forget hippocampus’s bed fellow the amygdala -the evolutionary inherited ‘flight ,fight or freeze “ response Centre. It secretes cortisol which is the stress hormone. It is this hormone that causes the most damage. Anything we can do to dampen the amygdala response will produce a positive effect in any field one can think of. Incidenty the shrinkage of the hippocampus in low mood states is attributed to the continuous high levels of cortisol in these states.

Nicco

Nov. 9, 2019, 11:27 a.m.

That's interesting, HO - i'd forgotten about the amygdula. I have ME & latest research suggests people who have ME either make too much adrenaline or can't absorb what they are making themselves. It certainly feels that way & i could've told them that nearly 40yrs ago when i was 14 if they'd have asked.me! I temember going to the library & reading up about the adrenals & adrenaline & their function at that age as that's when i started getting ill.

Nilly

Nov. 8, 2019, 7:39 a.m.

Sarcasm is often a defence for vulnerability and emotional illiteracy. It’s just our way of protecting ourselves in a primitive way without really knowing what else to do. It’s almost a form of invalidating our own experience and then also invalidating other people’s experiences because we don’t know how to honour us or them, so sarcasm is the best bet. This is my opinion but I was also a very sarcastic person until a friend pointed it out to me one time. I was filled with rage and contempt...and proceeded to be further sarcastic (criticism doesn’t really help much huh). Moral of the story, try and avoid sarcastic people, rest easy in whatever you feel doing, avoiding them, ignoring them, or just being present and doing your own thing. Whatever you feel better doing, do it! ?

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Ruth

Nov. 8, 2019, 8:10 a.m.

Depression doesn't have to have a reason, it just is. We know that. It is others around who need a reason, otherwise they cannot accept it. It is them who have a problem with it, not us. The problem is it does cause more anxiety, as we can then be caused to go looking for a reason that is not there.

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Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:38 p.m.

Yes, I can’t seem to have a reason. I have a job, a girlfriend, a family etc..so why do I feel the way I do. I not only exercise but paint (however this can be stressful as my self doubt kicks in saying I’m not that good)..hopefully this will change with time. For me Anxiety is a hard one, especially at work because you can’t run away etc..and I don’t want to but it can be debilitating

Jul

Nov. 8, 2019, 8:19 a.m.

Hello Hugo. It's great you've written for us again, you can share your experiences and feelings with us and we can do the same with you. Sarcasm is a form of bullying and is wrong. Plain wrong. If you stick to the fact that it's wrong, you can deal with it in your own way, knowing it's not you but them. I am rushing a bit this morning as we are going to Edinburgh but I wanted to make contact with you. I want you to know that I have been there and still am pretty much. Lack of self confidence , feelings of not being worthy, but honestly Hugo, I now realise that these feelings are normal for nice kind people who have a lot to offer society and the people around them. You are definitely one of these nice kind people. I can tell. You just have to accept this but strangely it's not easy. Jul xx

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Sally

Nov. 8, 2019, 8:27 a.m.

Hi Hugo. I found the blog very apt, thank you. I am going through a patch of “every jibe hurts”, I told someone who asked “what’s up”. I think honesty is best there...mostly...unless you’re dealing with a very damaged person lashing out like a scattergun ! How to pinpoint what’s bringing you down?a tough one, but the 2 excellent comments above give good ideas, explanations and advice. I must admit, when I resort to sarcasm , I realise soon it’s an angry me talking. Not altogether nice. Go easy on yourself. Refuse to accept that negative voice as gospel that tells you you’re worthless . Fight it, fight back, because innately , you KNOW you are most definitely NOT worthless, so shore yourself up....but not with e.g. excessive booze ( a depressant ) or unprescribed drugs ....talking therapy worked for me. Seek and you will find. Eventually. The film What’s eating Gilbert Grape ? ( with actor Leonardo Di Caprio as a teen actor ) is a (randomly mentioned ) feel good film, at least for me it is...and I’m sure others on here can give suggestions of how to help you ease the pain and drudgery of depression and low mood , at least for a couple of hours. I remember going to see Woodstock ( how, that takes me back YEARS! ) by friends trying to snap me out of it, and anyway, it worked its magic ! Gave me something else to think about and focus on, ....although as I wrote “snap out” , I immediately thought “that’s wrong”, and like saying that’s all it takes to cure a person of depression. I do however think pleasurable experiences help. A walk, entertainment, nice meal With trusted friend or relative, change of scenery, time out or away.... No one thing, just a series of treats and shoring up experiences. It could well be you've not been receiving enough positive strokes...or a chemical imbalance that meds can help sort out. Only saying... XX sally

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Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:40 p.m.

Thanks for the reply Sally :-)

The Gardener

Nov. 8, 2019, 8:52 a.m.

Hugo, excuse me for 'popping in' to reply to late replies to my blog yesterday. For Molly, SO glad it looks as thought you have found someone with practical replies to SOME of your problems. You said I was looking for an argument? Never. Debate, discussion. You never know what will be 'stirred' up when you write a blog. Yesterday's replies were SO wide reaching, well thought out, and, as so often, 'diverge' as in your case to help and support. Good luck, hang on in there. xx

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Molly

Nov. 8, 2019, 2:36 p.m.

Oh Gardener, I was only joking about the argument! Thank you for your kind words xx

Oli

Nov. 8, 2019, 9:02 a.m.

Hi Hugo. As always I think one can only offer a point of view, and I realise mine is not necessarily easy but it’s what helped me so it feels highly coherent. Also, this is my hindsight talking — at the time I hadn’t worked this out. The role of exercise, for me, is not a bargain I make with my mood. I had unpleasant thoughts and feelings and it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of trying to control them, to reduce them, by “doing something”. The nature of the “doing something” is strangely interchangeable. So, I could drink alcohol in order to reduce unpleasant experience. Or I could have a row with my partner in order to reduce unpleasant experience. And I could also do exercise in order to reduce unpleasant experience. What I had to learn was that I needed to stop trying to control unpleasant experiences by doing stuff. That control loop is what kept me stuck. The bit where I got unstuck (not totally, cos I’m still prone to it), is letting go of control behaviours. And then what? And moving towards stuff in my life which really matters to me. I.e. moving away from a life of trying to control the low feelings and thoughts, and moving towards doing stuff which is important to me — despite the presence of low feelings. Over time the low feelings changed but that wasn’t the point. I wasn’t bargaining with them any more. Exercise is important to me, I’ll do some in a little while. But I don’t use it to control anything. Control behaviour, be it exercise, alcohol, having an argument, even mindfulness (”if I just meditate a bit more then I’ll have less of this cr*p!”) — anything — which is a bargain with unpleasant feelings, I had to gently let go of. Control behaviour is what kept me stuck. Thanks Hugo.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 9:46 a.m.

Ooooh...another goodie, Oli. How to let go of the Controls we have been guided to use to help with depression, so that we don’t 'bargain' with depression! Oh my head hurts trying to work this out! I use exercise to try and wear myself out to aid the fibromyalgia...it doesn’t always work....am still exhausted (lack of sleep affecting the fibromyalgia greatly). I get so upset thinking I’m doing the right things, running etc., then still cannot wear myself out enough to sleep five hours! Bear x

Oli

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:09 a.m.

Hi Bear, I am thinking about maybe doing a blog on this, with a picture or a video, because a lot of people find this difficult to get their heads around. Control is what we *want* to do -- because it usually works!! -- but here it actually drives the problem of being stuck. Same behaviour producing two very different outcomes. But for now, have you got anyone you're working with who is specialist in working with FM? Might be worth getting referred if you are not seeing anyone. Because all other things being equal FM responds to smooth and even pacing of physical activities rather than "boom & bust". In fact, boom & bust is usually the first thing I focus on when working with someone with FM. It's the commonest pattern (for obvious reasons) but usually responds well to modification. (With the obvious disclaimer that that's not professional advice, get referred, etc.) x

Nicco

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:09 a.m.

Bear - exercise, for me, seems to make the fibro & ME worse - annoying as i feel o need it to stay physically & mentally healthier - so a vicious circle gets set up. I tried to get referr3d to a specialist & was told there's very few available in the country & was referred back to the mental health avenue.

Lesley

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:21 a.m.

Oli, what a great insight. And Hugo, immense thanks for your post today, I feel down, down, down today and try to understand why. But, I have decided not to investigate that too much as further rumination and self-bashing occurs. I know my bedtime pattern the last two nights has not been strict and that relates to it. Oli, I was recommended to ensure I do things that I love to do in order to balance out the low rather than institute control measures. So, over the past week I have been singing and being involved with my theatre group. I find I am worse when at home on my own whereas on my 3 working days the routine and mind being filled with work tasks keeps the dog at bay. Today I am poorly though and all my ghosts of life-changing mistakes flood in and make me feel worthless at the same time craving a wonderful life where I was well and which I chucked away because I couldn't love well and felt worthless. Enough of me though. More kitchen cleaning to do.

Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:42 p.m.

Great suggestions, never thought of it that way. Could be something to try as one never knows until one tries it. Thanks Oli. Sorry that you are poorly, hope you feel better soon.

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:46 p.m.

Hi Oli, yes I visit a physiotherapist who helps me deal with fibromyalgia. She is very good and I was referred to her by my rheumatologist....Nicco, ask your GP if they know a local physio who is trained to work with fibro patients. The boom and bust things might be me. I have been out this afternoon, painting at Baby Bears' house. Was going to go back this evening to do another coat, but I’m going to leave it til tomorrow...if I overdo things today, I won’t be able to move tomorrow!! Thanks Oli xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:48 p.m.

Lesley, so sorry you are down in the depths too. It is very hard to keep trying to get back up, but you are holding down a job too. The structure of working those days seem to help you. So maybe a lighter structure to your home days is needed. Clean, little and often!! Bear hugs ***

Lesley

Nov. 8, 2019, 6:24 p.m.

Bearofliddlebrain, thank you. xx

Nicco

Nov. 9, 2019, 11:41 a.m.

Thanks, Bear. None available unfortunately, due to NSH cuts. My lovely physio who i saw for nearly 30yrs has left & changed careers as he's fed up with NHS red tape - says it's all about sending people away to do exercises rather than hands-on treatment.

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:02 a.m.

Hugo, Even if it is a 'poor me' blog...we’re with you. Well I certainly am today. I feel lost and tearful, as another dear friend died this week. She wasn’t ill for long and now she has died. So many of our friends have died this past year, I’m struggling to keep head above water, whilst trying to be supportive to the bereaved. Sarcasm - hate it so much, but have used it when needed to! So I’m quilty m'lud. But today’s snarky comment from Mr. Bear as he left the house, really cheesed me off. What makes it worse is he has gone off driving and I know if something happened to him, I’d be so sad and desperate to heal the rift. I will do so when he’s back...but I only asked a question! He is faster than a flipping fast car on a flipping fast day with his retorts and they are always laden with sarcasm. He is so quick. He can cut through me with a sarcastic comment 0-60 in two seconds, but I’m not built that way. I do stand up to it...but today, I didn’t have the energy, so I stayed quiet and he had to do the talking to finish the conversation. That is the way I deal with Mr. Bear and his sarcasm...his is a learned behaviour through growing up, I think. Getting a comment in first before someone does it to him! So, Hugo, maybe stay quiet when someone is being sarcastic...let them dig themselves out of the hole they are digging and not drag you down there. Bear hugs x

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Oli

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:14 a.m.

I've said this before Bear but I try and follow Michelle Obama's wisdom: "When they go low, we go high." Rise above it. (1) You'll never go wrong with that; (2) If they notice you doing it, (which they often don't), it drives them nuts that you've not risen to the bait. And you can award yourself 10 smugness points! ;-)

Nicco

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:21 a.m.

Bear & Oli - i really value your comments here as i've thought about letting the other person dig themselves out of the hole they've dug without being dragged down there into it with them, & also trying to rise above, but find these so hard to put into effect. Maybe it's something that gets easier over time & with practice.

Lesley

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:25 a.m.

Oli, thank you for this. My colleague who has no control of her moods me cannot bear the fact that I remain calm and don't have a go at her. The Occ health doctor advised me to fins a way with the repressed anger as repressed anger does not help FM.

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:51 p.m.

Mr. Bear came home and I pointed out to him, that I was upset by his sarcasm, he apologised and we Bear hugged :). I felt a teeny tiny victory, as the ignoring his vicious comments earlier in the day and then pointing out to him that there had been no need for him to get so angry actually worked. So yes, go high when they go low...I’ll try to remember that! Bear x

Molly

Nov. 8, 2019, 5:16 p.m.

Bear, great way to deal with it. Glad you are happy Mummy and Daddy Bears again :-) xx

Nicco

Nov. 9, 2019, 11:44 a.m.

Lesley, i certainly agree & empathise with you regarding repressed anger.

M

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:29 a.m.

Hi Hugo, While there is plenty of evidence to support exercise for overall wellbeing, I did find myself wondering whether you are using it to “run away” from unpleasant feelings? My understanding is that the more we try to push away the unpleasant, the more it (“it” being versions of anger, rage, loneliness, unworthiness....), bangs on our door wanting to be heard and acknowledged. Can you be compassionate towards how you feel right now and be OK with not feeling ok? You’ve already acknowledged that you don’t feel ok, so rather than trying to “depress” or dismiss or change this unpleasantness into a more tolerable feeling, can you accept it in its own right for what it is – part of the human condition? When we give attention to aspects that we prefer to keep in the dark as too unpleasant to experience, generally they begin to lose their power over us. The feelings that you are turning away from want attention, can you bear to be with them and see what they have to offer? My guess is that they are not all bad and might even become your worthy friends once you get to know them. I might be making this sound simplistically easy when in fact I have found it to be deep, dark and complex and have had professional support while I worked my way through it. All of the above said, Mortimer has shone a light on serotonin for me – I did not know that a breakdown of serotonin let the garbage seep through the cracks, makes sense. How enlightening! You never know what nugget of wisdom you will find on Moodscope, always worth exploring and getting involved! You are not alone Hugo, take or leave what has been shared with you as you see fit - you know yourself what is best for you right now. For me, it's a walk in the sun to top up my serotonin levels. Hope you have found some comfort and/or wisdom in the replies. M :-)

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Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:44 p.m.

Potentially..but what am I running away from? I do agree that I do not want to feel or ever get to the point where I landed in hospital for a week..so yes I’m trying my best to not get to that point..does that make sense?

Molly

Nov. 9, 2019, 12:34 a.m.

Maybe trying to run away from the depression? If there is any sense in what Millie is saying that you can relate to. I often have thought ‘oh if I move, everything will get better’. But your head goes with you. Running, never tried it, but yes perhaps it is a form of running away, for good or for bad, I’m not sure. You sound happy with your life in general so maybe it is that unwelcome beast in your head you can’t get away from. I Have been told more than once “you have a job, you have a husband, what is possibly wrong with you” or words to that effect. In fact I feel on a mission now! Discharged from the mental health team today, so timely for me. I don’t ever want to go back there as they make me feel worse, but I still find it an absolute insult..... I feel a few letters coming on!! Just keep talking here Hugo. We understand when the rest of the world don’t xx

Nicco

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:43 a.m.

Thanks for your blog, Hugo. The replies are very interesting & educational. The way i cope is to steep myself in Nature - especially trees - or go for a swim, meet a friend for a coffee & chat, at least get out of my present environment. However, i can't do that if the depression/fibromyalgia/M.E. are really bad & rendering me virtually unable to function. When it's at that level all i can do use gentle distraction techniques of reading a favourtite/comforting/humourous book (sometimes have to read every sentence twice as concentration is difficult), or watching a film of the same genre (need the words on screen in order to follow conversations for the same reason), or creating/colouring fine line drawings (can only use black & white as unable to cope with colour at that time). These, along with trying to eat properly & rest adequately, means i can sit with it until it passes - & i have to keep reminding myself that it will pass because it always has (it's often so scary that i think this could be the big one i won't come out of this time). Communicating with people who understand (mainly here) is always a great comfort, too. Thanks again for your blog - it prompted me to think seriously about my coping strategies.

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Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:54 p.m.

Distractions do definitely help :-)

Maggie May

Nov. 8, 2019, 11:51 a.m.

I can’t get myself out of it today . Frozen by anxiety and then guilt for inactivity. Can’t take a decision about where to start with ‘jobs’ so I don’t . Want to add something positive to blog and don’t really know why I’m posting this negativity. It spreads . This will pass .

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Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:47 p.m.

Hi Maggie, I know what that feels like. I found talking to someone who doesn’t judge helps..well at least it helps me. Or take small steps instead of giant ones. Take care Maggie

Maggie May

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:57 p.m.

Thanks Hugo. Have shared a general feeling of being down , but not how it affects me. It’s nice to be understood here.

Molly

Nov. 8, 2019, 2:47 p.m.

Hi Maggie, I feel like this every day, it’s awful. I can’t even bring myself to wash up at the moment, then I feel annoyed that the kitchen is a mess. Sending hugs to you. The jobs can wait xxxx

Valerie

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:09 p.m.

Replied earlier and it disappeared.I was going to suggest a few little treats for yourself,or a duvet day.So sorry you feel rotten.xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:56 p.m.

MM...one nugget of positivity is that you responded to Hugo's blog. It often takes energy and courage to reply. Well done xx

Nicco

Nov. 11, 2019, 1:02 p.m.

Maggie, i hope by now you're feeling a bit better. I certainly can empathise with what you have said re being unable to function & feeling guilty. I find what helps for me is doing a small thing during the adverts on tv - the only usefullness for those annoying ads! But i do have to be in the right place to do that because when the depression is really bad i can't do it. Doing something during the ads means i only have about 3-5mins which is a nice bite-size window of activity but, as i've said, i have to be in the right place in order to cope with that level of activity. Hope this helps in some way. x

Lucas

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:01 p.m.

Acceptance has made a difference for me. On days when I'm depressed from the start and I wonder why I feel so bad and start to feel worse as I wonder why and can't find a reason, I reminded myself that I don't have to feel bad for feeling bad, that it's ok to feel crappy. Doesn't mean I don't want to feel better or won't do something to try and change that, but I don't have to feel guilty and blame myself, because sometimes it just 'is.' I also haven't really found any benefit from exercise. Some people seem to think it's a panacea. Feeling blue? Go for a jog! Broke your arm--have you tried running? Got the flu? The best thing is to have a brisk bike ride! Lost your legs? Well let me tell you how exhilarating and healing jogging is, you should really try it! That sort of thing. And don't get me wrong, exercise really is beneficial for many people, and there are reasons everybody should get some, but it's not going to fix everybody's depression; it didn't help mine. I think the real point is having some sort of activity, whether physical or mental. It can be hard to find something that seems interesting or enjoyable when depressed, so if not that, then maybe something purposeful or that can leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. Oli brought up a good point about control, though. Controlling or blocking feelings isn't ideal because you don't deal with what's going on. I do think a temporary distraction is ok, but you don't want the distraction to control you as your only means of escape, rather it's ideally a break that makes it easier to get through the day. Personally, I read with music on or play a game for a while, and these things help get me away from my thoughts for a bit. Sometimes I go for a drive and turn up the music, which I think changes the way I think a little bit so that my thoughts are slower and more deliberate because part of my attention is on driving, and wind up figuring some things out or letting out some emotions. (As Gary Numan put it, here in my car I feel safest of all. Well, it's one of the places I feel emotionally safe.) But I'm only speaking of myself here. Feel free to throw this all out: we're all a bit different, and what works for me may not work for you.

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Valerie

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:29 p.m.

Hi Lucas,good to hear from you again.I like to get out and walk daily,and I do weekly Pilates,but no other sports or outdoor pursuits interest me.Trying to do something that is a burdensome chore will never lift my mood. I agree about music,next to Prozac,music and a good laugh are the best tonics for me. We saw Gary Newman live a few years ago in a small venue,he looks great-think he admits to a facelift! xx

Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:52 p.m.

I guess I must have found some benefit from exercise, maybe I’m not seeing what I’ve achieved in the last few months at the gym. I’m doing strength training but maybe some cardio will help as this releases endorphins. What does annoy me though is that I have to be doing things constantly just to keep my head above water..surely this isn’t sustainable and I’ll run out of steam!! I wonder

Oli

Nov. 8, 2019, 2:28 p.m.

So many ways to think about this Hugo but I'll share my approach to exercise and you're welcome to borrow anything that fits. First thing to remember is that people without mental health challenges don't do exercise with the aim of boosting endorphins in order to address a deficit of serotonin/ oxytocin/ cheese&onion/ whatever the latest neurotransmitter idea is.* They've all got their reasons. I do exercise because despite it being a bit uncomfortable I think it's worth it. I like being reasonably flexible, strong-ish, and fit-ish. Exercise is not a means to an end, it's just part of my life. The only people who worry about having everything "just so" about their sleep are insomniacs. Likewise, exercise becomes "a thing" if one is desperate to avoid a feared decent into not-coping. But actually, exercise is not "a thing". It's just exercise. Flexibility; strength; cardio. I try and do about 30 mins a day but I'm likely to be older than you. And funnily enough I realise I need to add a bit more strength training into my routine -- but I've really been enjoying the cardio lately! Thank you for making me have a look at that. :-)

Molly

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:01 p.m.

Lucas, good reply. I agree with you. I’ve never been one for exercise but I used to walk a lot. Now I’m very unfit because I don’t go out. When I had the dog, she would make me go for a short walk, but it never helped my depression. It often made it worse as I would think too much and see people leading a somewhat normal life xx

Valerie

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:12 p.m.

Correction Molly-you see people you ASSUME are leading a normal life.They probably think exactly the same about people like us.***

Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:22 p.m.

Hmmmm, I see what you mean Oli...yes I want to be stronger, more flexible, fitter and essentially the best version of myself I can be but also I see it as a means to keep, at least try, the blackness away. Do you think maybe the desire for this can lead to not ever being good enough or ever reaching a point that I’m content with what I’ve achieved etc..?

Oli

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:43 p.m.

Hugo, that bit about "a means to keep the blackness away" ... that's the bit where my radar pings. I'm a physio. The most difficult people to rehab are athletes. They injure themselves and you're like, "Give it 3 months and I reckon we can get this 100% better." And they're like, .... .... .... "um, can you do me 110%?" :-) You gotta laugh, but that's what drives them. They're never content but that's what gives their lives meaning while they're competing. And they are not doing it to escape from fear. Oddly enough I didn't do it with exercise but I did it with mindfulness. (See above.) I bargained. IF I do this, THEN I won't have anxiety. I still had anxiety. So I did MORE mindfulness. Can you see how doomed that was? I couldn't at the time but it's obvious to me now. I really think that the first bit of @Millie's post above is right on the money. We have minds which can make the "doing of exercise" part of the problem. Rigidly following rules; worrying when they're not followed. Exercise isn't really like that; neither is mindfulness. Not for me at any rate. It's so hard to let go of anything that looks like a life raft but the letting go is part of the solution -- again, only speaking for me.

Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:51 p.m.

Hmmmm, interesting ? cheers Oli

Molly

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:03 p.m.

Val, yes I thought that as I wrote it. As was said recently, we never know what difficulties people face. At least most people can get out of the house though ***

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 5:05 p.m.

Yes Oli! I took the advice of my physio to help get me moving more to aid the joints etc for the fibro. Even conquering the Couch to 5k and joined the local park runs (but cancelled tomorrow because of floods!). But I’ve only managed a run once in the past three weeks and I feel no different to when I run, apart from the fact the aches are the normal aches from running rather than the joint pains! So then I think, why the heck am I pushing myself to run three times a week? It’s because I’m thinking it will control the pain and the lack of sleep will magically come back. You’ve been extremely helpful today Oli, thank you for continuing to reply! Bear hugs x

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 5:06 p.m.

Lucas, I’m with you on the acceptance! Bear x

Valerie

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:22 p.m.

Are you still feeling rotten MM? If there is no improvement, could you just have a lazy day,hot bath, watch something on the box,eat something nice that requires no cooking? I sometimes find it helps to do just one thing to cross off the list.I am going to give the fridge a quick clear-out and clean-10 mins max.Know just how you feel.Hugs xx

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Maggie May

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:55 p.m.

Thanks so much Valerie . Just swept leaves from decking in lull in wind with a little breakthrough from the sun. One step. Would like to go in to something else but ......

Valerie

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:17 p.m.

That's a useful job done-well done you.xx

Valerie

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:47 p.m.

Hello Hugo, I wish we could sit and talk together about the things that are troubling you. It could be that you are being overly sensitive and taking things personally,but…..I tend to think this is what people tell you, when they hope they can get away with taking a poke at you.I used to be very overweight,and I had some incredibly cruel and distressing things said to me,that I should have responded to.Now,if anyone does have a dig (not often, as apparently I am considered to be a ballsy woman) I will clutch my chest dramatically and shout "Ouch!".If the other party is female I have been known to make hissing noises,claws in the air,"Miaow!!" There are books and You Tube videos about how to deal with toxic people. Beware what the Irish call the "Joke with a jag in it".A jag is a sharp spike.I very much subscribe to the view that depression is anger turned inwards. Dealing effectively with certain people (or cutting them out of your life if possible) may help you feel a lot better. Good Luck! xx

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Hugo

Nov. 8, 2019, 1:49 p.m.

Thanks Valerie.

Maggie May

Nov. 8, 2019, 2:03 p.m.

Depression is anger turned inwards - could well be.

Bearofliddlebrain

Nov. 8, 2019, 5:08 p.m.

Valerie! Lol! I’ve been known to 'miaow' and say..'saucer of milk over here please'! When someone is being particularly spiteful. :) x

Julian

Nov. 8, 2019, 2:52 p.m.

Hi Hugo Don't worry about the 'poor me' stuff, that was used by various members of my family to po po any sad emotions I had for a long time, really messed me up. It's quite alright to feel sad or angry and better to get it out, hope you feel better soon. Jules

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Molly

Nov. 8, 2019, 3:50 p.m.

Hi Hugo In my experience, depression just magnifies everything that maybe a problem, small or large and exaggerates feelings, so yes everything is taken personally, everything becomes irritating, everything is harder to do and cope with. I rarely get an ‘ok’ day now but when I do, I think ‘why?’ I can never find an answer. Nothing has changed but life feels more bearable. When I used to have more better days than not, depression could hit me overnight for no reason. I would try and find a reason because depression lies, “oh it must be this or that” but when depression faded, it was not ‘this or that’ because they didn’t matter so much anymore. I’ve said all this before on here so I hope I’m not repeating myself too much. I wrote a blog on it a while back. We are all different of course and there are various degrees of depression so this is just the way it seems to work with me. There are sometimes triggers for me however, but it will depend on how my mental health is at the time, as to the way I cope (or not cope). I like Lucas’s reply. If I can accept the way I am, the way things are, etc, etc, it can really take some of the pressure off. Thank you for the blog, again you have a big response, I hope the comments have helped you in some way. It’s comforting to know we are not alone isn’t it. Molly xx

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Carol

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:13 p.m.

"Ouch" has been a reply that has worked for me when someone says something mean/sarcastic or otherwise hurtful.

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greenjean

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:32 p.m.

Hello Hugo, so good that you have voiced your thoughts and feelings rather than let them grind you down even more. Depression is a real beast and an illness you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Part of the illness is many of the things you mention and constantly looking for reasons for your depression are also sadly a part of the beast’s weapon. Whenever I’ve had a bad spell of depression I can just hear myself saying I’m depressed because of this or that and convince myself of the cause, only to realise when well that it was just the depression speaking. I think we spend so long looking for reasons as we think it will release us from the pit of despair. Yes I think taking things personally and reacting to sarcasm are all part of the illness. The awful ‘not worthy’ feelings are so common and although it sounds simple, being kind to ourselves is so important especially when we’re down. Just hang on in there and ‘notice’ that this is how you’re feeling at the moment but that it’s not permanent, it will go away. I can assure you it will, even though I would not believe it when really down myself. Thinking of you and glad that you posted your blog today. Best wishes Jean

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Leah

Nov. 8, 2019, 8:32 p.m.

Hugo, Thanks for your blog and for all the replies it generated. I do admire the way you can express yourself when depressed. When I was depressed I could barely write one word and that would be a rude one! It is so helpful you can explain how you feel as it helps others. I really have nothing more to add to all the wise words gained from Moodscopers experiences. I think the more we talk about our experiences the less we feel alone. Leah

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Bailey

Nov. 8, 2019, 10:57 p.m.

Better days are coming.

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Liz

Nov. 9, 2019, 5:24 a.m.

Hi Hugo.. late reply but here goes. Firstly thanks for sharing how you feel - not always easy. I think pre social media, and the fact that you had to go into a phone booth to talk to someone (showing my age here) when I was younger for example, sometimes there wasn't that instancy of reply that can be so comforting from others. So you had to in a sense just "get on with it"... so I remember feeling terribly isolated and lonely at times... yet all those times built up a strange kind of self-reliance on oneself. But that is like a double-edged sword because you can be too independent then when you meet someone, instead of having sorted out yourself... you kind of sort yourself through them if that makes sense. And if they stay, they are a keeper, through all the ****. But then you worry that you have inadvertently given them a lot of your **** to deal with. Probably why I always found close relationships challenging, especially with the opposite ***... how much do you reveal... do you reveal the madness early on (I say this with reference to myself, not to sound horribly flippant). My husband picked up on my depression when we first met (which kind of horrifies me in a way) but he was empathetic enough to do so. But my madness (as I call it) has also a charm to it, at least I think so. When I'm struggling I go into armadillo mode (that's why I have a tattoo on my inner left wrist of one)... curl up into a ball and roll away... for a time... and then gradually uncurl myself when things look brighter. It's my response to a stressful situation. The armour outside protects oneself until you feel safe enough to reveal yourself again. When I'm depressed I go to bed... safest place for me - not the car personally although it's a good place to go if you want to crank up the volume on the stereo and take yourself off temporarily to a different landscape. Strangely enough I find singing loudly along to songs incredibly therapeutic... somehow music has the power to transport me somewhere else that doesn't feel quite so bad. Exercise doesn't really cut it for me - I like the endorphin rush after but I cannot be bothered often to take the first step. I like exercise to be fun but it rarely is unless a dog is involved! So that's where I get mine - I walk my dog. The rest of it all seems to regimented and makes me feel **** about myself - **** I can't get that six pack, she is doing much better than me, look at those show offs in the gym, why can't I look like that and so on... I avoid gyms like the plague. I don't think I can add any more and once I start feeling that I ramble, I stop. I hope the blog has helped you realise that you are definitely not alone and hope you feel better for sharing things :0)

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Hugo

Nov. 9, 2019, 8:52 a.m.

Thanks Liz, wise words ;-)

Liz

Nov. 9, 2019, 5:28 a.m.

Oh and regards sarcastic people, I live with one!! I think it's a default state and people have to be reminded when they are being too sharp. I'm not afraid to stand up for myself when I have to. I would say that when you are depressed though everything feels sometimes like a barb, an insult, a telling-off, however you want to express it but that's not to deny your feelings. Just to acknowledge that it can feel like that. And when I feel like that, I take myself away from the situation, either in my mind, or physically... and retreat... and then I come back when I feel more robust... tiny guns blazing I suppose!

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Paula

Nov. 9, 2019, 6:27 a.m.

Hi. It might be a very biological view of things, but I think sometimes your brain chemicals just depress you (whether or not you’re on meds) and you can only tell yourself that it will pass, seek out professional help, or just ring the Samaritains/ Lifeline and get it off your chest in confidence. And it can seem like everyone is being sarcastic, but sometimes I can be snippy too when I’m down, and it can be a bit of a vicious cycle. Getting out in nature is so hard to do but if you can, trees are never sarcastic, just reassuring and welcoming. Take care.

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Hugo

Nov. 9, 2019, 10:28 a.m.

I live in the city and I agree, going out and being in the presence of nature is a very therapeutic thing. I do when I can. Maybe the rat race is not for me ? maybe...

Nicco

Nov. 11, 2019, 1:16 p.m.

I agree whole-heartedly re nature & trees, Paula - so therapeutic.

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