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May


Show me the menu. Friday May 26, 2017

When depression chooses you it can feel like someone is holding a blade to your throat. You might feel you have very little on the menu to get you well. But if you stay open minded there is a never-ending list of things to try. I'm going to list some and it'd be great if you could add what I've missed on to the blog spot. For those who have just found themselves held hostage this could be the start of something good. For those who need a change this could be the start of something good.

Medication
Counselling

There, both top of the list. They are valuable and there are heaps of other things out there which may enhance them, or replace them:

Volunteering
Painting with or without an art group
Singing with or without a choir
Running. Cycling. Any exercise. With a group or solo. Even better with a trainer (I made huge progress this way and boxing was a revolution inside my head!)
Writing a blog or even just writing for nobody to see
Sitting at the beach with or without people (the sea is full of energy you can borrow)
Reading
Learning
Cooking
Sleeping
Overhauling your diet
Overhauling your alcohol intake
Meditation ('Headspace' is far from the frumpy misconception)
Returning to the thing you dreamt of when asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Being alone
Not being alone
Looking back at photographs (if they bring tears then perhaps you need it!)
Music. All. Any.
Silence
Overhauling your friends, family, colleagues. Do you still wear the shoes you wore thirty years ago?
Taking the type of break that can bring perspective and clarity.
Trusting someone with yourself. But be choosy, you are vulnerable.
Committing to something you know you need and is good for you, however small, and doing it... Every... Single... Day.

Perhaps you can add more to the blogspot, otherwise known as the Centre of Excellence.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 3:45am

Hi RATG. I take on board all the useful suggestions that you make and that others like to make as well and maybe subconsciously they will feed into my brain but I do have to reiterate (and risk becoming really boring) that when severe depression takes hold there is NO interest in anything at all. If I could pick up a book for instance or play that favourite CD or go for that nice walk along the sea - then I WOULD do it. But when I am depressed, I have no interest in anything and these things would actually make me feel worse. I have to add that there are different types of depression of course, and if you are in a low mood then sure, do what you can to pick yourself back up. This however, is not always possible. I have fought my depression for years and it is time for a break. No 'trying to make it better' is going to work for me right now. Blimey, I know all of the answers. I know what I SHOULD be doing. Can I just stay in bed and hide for a little bit longer......thank you, you are most kind. Your list can wait for another day......

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:24am

Here for you too Molly. Xxx

Poppy Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 1:26pm

How familiar your words seem. Hold on. Someone once told me that when you're in the depths of despair, when you've prayed till your knees are raw, let someone else pray for you. Give your burden over to someone else and just "be." You can know that there are many people who are doing just that right now, people you don't know, right here on Moodscope. What a supportive community. Maybe right now, it's more important to concentrate on what not to do—not should-ing yourself. Is your pillow soft? Are the sheets cool and crisp? Do you have a scented eye pillow you can use? Can you turn on a fan and feel the air blow across your skin? Are you able to hear birds outside your window? Do you have a safe and comforting mantra to repeat to quiet the demons? Would a glass of cold ice water feel good? How about a piece of sweet hard candy? Are you reading the Moodscope blog every day and letting the words gently wash over you? Can you feel the love behind the written words? All the best from over the pond. From Texas

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 11:53pm

Thank you Poppy - I enjoyed your comment xx

the room above the garage Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 6:42am

Hello Molly, you're not boring :-) you're in the heart of a hideous black cave where there is no up nor down, no company but no solitude, held hostage, scratched, torn, beaten, tormented, maybe cried inside out, maybe no teats will come, I could go on. You know where you are, rock bottom and wondering if it will ever change. Little on that list will help you today and nothing on that list will turn today into a good one. I know exactly how that feels. Today I'm not there. I'll try to find the blog I wrote on a day I did feel this way so you can see that not every blog is light, positive and encouraging. But today I am not there and so I'm able to write something for someone who is. For you. It's my hand to steady you. From the list, you have taken 'not being alone' as you have sought out our company here, that's is a STEP and you must give yourself credit for it! You can also take 'sleeping' and 'silence' because sometimes, where you are now, all you can do is wait it out. Please, no SHOULD. You can't raise to that yet, and you will know when you can push yourself. It's not yet. You're in the nuclear attack stage so all you can do is hunker down with whatever is at hand to make it slightly more comfortable...blanket, scarf, pillow, easy food, and wait. We'll keep you company when you need that. The phrase I never understood is 'be kind to yourself' but it really means expect less of yourself. Just be. Let the storm do what it will and then we can slowly, brick by brick rebuild. I'm still on my rebuild, I estimate I had 16 years of not understanding, 2 years at least of denial and I'm in year 12 of rebuild. Today just be. And that is a win. Love ratg x.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:58am

Very good RATG. Carolinex

Tutti Frutti Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:57am

Molly and RATG I am really pleased that Molly raised how difficult that list would be when you are really low and that RATG understood where she was coming from. I am ok ish at the moment and can relate to a lot of RATGs suggestions even though some of them appear to contradict each other because different things work at different times and for different people. But I don't think I would be able to handle a list like this when I was really low. I wouldn't be able to cope with the decision about where to start and I might end up feeling guilty about all the things I could do for myself and am not. Perhaps it is a list to give to someone you can rely on so that you don't actually have to look at it yourself when too ill but they will prompt you to start doing a few of the things when you are up to it. Love TF (and hugs for Molly in case they help) xoxo

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:24pm

Yes I thought so too ratg, lovely. Xx

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:09pm

Thank you RATG and Tutti Frutti, and LP, truly appreciated xxx

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 10:38pm

:) xx

Orangeblossom Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 6:45am

Hi RAT! Thanks for the blog and helpful suggestions. Some of them I have tried & found helpful. I know in theory, that exercise is beneficial. When I don't go for a walk though, because I can't face the outside world, and have too much to do at home, I do feel the detrimental effects. Recently I have taken to walking home & looking at the various trees on my way home. I love trees & it has stopped me from feeling excessively weary & lifted my mood considerably.

the room above the garage Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:44am

You and me both. Trees I find slightly magical. And their seasonal changes feel familiar. That's it...i don't have depression, I'm a tree!!! :-)

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:20am

Hi ratg!
I'd like to add:

Seeing your name at the bottom of a blog! :)
Moodscope in general!
Mindfulness - this has saved me many a time.
I first become aware that I'm going over the same negative thought. A worry or fear, an anger, a guilt. I may even add another to tumble around in my head.
Then I become aware that I'm doing it and want to stop.
Then I flick on to where I am there and then and the relief is there for an instant. I want to stay, I keep coming back. I look. I listen. Count the sounds I can here. Be here, stay here. It is safe and calm and I can always come back.

I know that mindfulness it's not going to help everyone in every situation. If where you are physically there and then doesn't feel safe and isn't good for you, you deserve to be elsewhere. EVERYBODY has the right to feel safe.
It has been when I have been on my own and not distracted by what's going on, at night, in bed during the day ( it feels physically safe, but too much feels bad) in the car, out for a walk. So I am lucky. Those are the times when my environment IS safe! I can be, look, listen, be still, move. Feel peace. That's why NATURE is so good for us. It just is. It doesn't think or stress or feel bad, it just is and I love it's beauty.

I know that if HO we're around, he'd add laughter, again not something you can always make happen but worth putting on the list! Remembering a time that made you laugh if possible. Is it too flippant to say Stephen Mulhern? :) Not to everyone's taste but his silliness does it for me! :))

Act. Not as in be fake or taking drama classes! I mean a small step towards an action. Action leads to more action and motivation. It can be tiny, but you did it, which leads onto my next one,
Achieve something how ever small. No one is judging! For me if I make myself do that one thing I feel good and that's what I WANT.

Take a break.

Take a break from trying. Be gentle with yourself. It's ok to notice how you are feeling. There is a good reason, even if you don't know what it is. Let it take it's course, knowing that it WILL feel better, because that's how the universe works, things change.

Just saying what works for me guys.
Thank you for the opportunity ratg, feeling lifted, as always, by you! :)
Wishing a little lift and a little peace wherever it can be found, to all moodscopers. LP xxx

the room above the garage Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:48am

Aw LP :-) thank you for lifting my day! You hit the nail on the head, becoming aware is a great thing and powerful. Laughter yes, the you tube clip of Morcambe and Wise doing the breakfast routine with sausages, grapefruit etc can be a direction changer for me. Good to see you, love ratg x.

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:27pm

Yes, that's a classic! :) You too, xx

Jane SG Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:38am

Dear ratg, I like your list. I would add 'courage to be authentic with someone I love.' I find this difficult in case I sound silly or needy when I'm in one of my dark moments, but when I do find the courage it is always met with a caring response and this helps as I then feel accepted, warts and all. X

the room above the garage Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:50am

Hello Jane, acceptance is a biggie isn't it! What a tool it is. Love ratg x

Eva Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:04am

Hi, here goes
Join an exercise class, you don't need to talk to anyone but being around other peeps sharing the same experience is good, I do yoga weekly.

Shop daily, you have to get out of the house, I stopped weekly shopping and now I benefit from the walk to the shop daily, plus my fruit and veg never get chucked out.

Change of state, when I am in the pit, or on the way down, I now know and recognise it, and know that a change of state will change my mood, so I get up with the intention to distract, make tea, put on a podcast /watch a film/go for a walk... Thus far although there may not be a huge shift, there is always a shift which shows me that things will not stay the same.

Watch myself rise and fall. Become aware of too much excitement, and temper my behaviour to bring myself down and then stay quiet for a wee while and watch to see if it's OK or if I need to do mare work. Look at low and see if I can see if it's reactive and how I might manage that.

Your list is great. Thanks ratg

Eva Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:07am

Oh, oh, oh... I forgot... Have a daily routine, (for getting up, meditation, diet, getting out of the house) then when I am low I just do it without having to think about it. Give yourself a break, if you can't do the routine today, pick it up again tomorrow, and relax.

Eva Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:08am

The give yourself a break, is meant to be a new point ;)

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:30pm

:) Routine is such a good one for me too Eva. xx

Paul Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:30am

Very good blog today I can relate to most of them.
I don't want to hijack this blog however there was something on the tv suggesting some depressions can be caused by inflammation in the head and may be helped by anti inflammatory drugs, no good to me as I have stomach problems made worse by stress depression.
Paul

the room above the garage Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:54am

Wow, an interesting thought! I can't take anti-inflammatory drugs either so no use to me but I'll search for and follow that story. Research hopefully! Thanks Paul :-)

Tutti Frutti Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:34am

I have heard it as well and would be interested to know more. I am always pretty wary about new treatments though and particularly anything designed for unipolar depression rather than bipolar in case it upsets my equilibrium. I tend to get lots of short blips of mild depression but very rarely go manic (about once a decade). However when I do go manic it seems to set off a cycle that takes a good year to recover from so obviously I am pretty loath to set that off. I would want to hear a psychiatrist's view on this treatment but I am not seeing one at the moment and will probably not be in the right shape to have a discussion like this whenever I next have to see one - at least not until just before I get signed off again. Anyone else heard anything about this from a psychiatrist? Love TF x

Julia from France Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:08am

Yoga!

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:31pm

Nice one! :)

The Gardener Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:33am

Such a good blog - will print it out and take it, with diary, to sit in sun and lick wounds - life reached such a new low - sleepless - had to stand and bar the door to the road at 1.a.m to stop Mr G going to rouse the neighbours to look after him - I don't do it properly - threatened me with his cane, threatens to break windows - in respite, I have to summon up the courage to face another night - watch DVD's, doze, hope and pray for better things

Tutti Frutti Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:45am

Gardener In the UK an Alzheimer's patient rousing the neighbours in the middle of the night would probably get sectioned (happened to a friend's nan when her parents couldn't be there) which would get you the help you both clearly need. What would happen if he did this in France? I know it sounds very callous and your attitude comes from dedication but are you sure you shouldn't? just let him get on with it. Love TF x

The Gardener Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 10:10am

Thanks TF - I've called the emergency services once when Mr G went 'out of control', they came, apologised profusely for the fact that they could do nothing. Although I get fantastic help and medical service, and the fact that a 'home' costs much less in France than in UK, his behaviour would only be dealt with by hospitalization. Depending on his state, would be the Alzheimer unit or the 'lock up' - paid for - I can't quarrel with that. Ironically, and sadly (UK case as well, I presume) if in a temper he has a fall and breaks something it will be free hospitalization followed by convalescence. This is the stark choice for dealing with people who are mentally, not physically, ill - also going to be a bitter debate in UK elections, who pays for care (if you can get it). My philosophy at the moment is 'let him get on with it', yesterday's nurse said 'sleep in another room. But I am over a barrel - he follows me, shouting, threatening, especially that he will have a fall. Grateful to all who bear with me and give comfort and advice xx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 10:31am

Gardener, I admire you determination. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make things better but alas my magic has gone. I sometimes worship people who make the policies could spend a night with MR G.

Dolphin Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 12:20pm

When my father reached this stage, we started worrying about him really hurting our mother and what would happen if she got a broken limb or worse. There is never a right answer, but we put our mother's well-being first and paid for our Dad to go to live in an Alzheimer unit. He hated it for a while, but as his deterioration progressed - quite quickly in his case - he didn't know where he was anyway. Our mother visited him daily to feed him at mealtimes. I think it helped her to be there, but I'm not sure how much comfort it gave him. Courage Gardener xx

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:43pm

We are here TG for you and with you, witnessing, willing, wishing for glimmers of change for the better to come and it will. Hugs as always, LPxx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 10:27am

I want to say chocolate, Ratg, but I will behave !! I think I would add hope. Thanks so much .

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:44pm

Never underestimate the power of a little chocolate treat! :) xx

Dolphin Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 12:10pm

Thanks so much for this list RATG. I'm where Molly is today, after a bad psychological jolt yesterday. I just want to cry, but am too rock-like to do so. Your reply to Molly helped. I've got enough nous to know I will keep your list though .. x

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:49pm

That's so good to hear Dolphin, even just that and being here among people who get it, good to hear that you have those.Xx

Poppy Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 1:38pm

My additions:
A long soak in the tub
Talking to my granddaughter on video chat
Listening to the birds outside my window
Sitting in my porch swing or in my hammock
Creating a floral arrangement
Gardening
Visiting my friend in a senior living facility
Holding hands with my hubby
Deep breathing
Repeating a comforting mantra
Laying in a pile of scented pillows
Cuddling with my small and not-so-small dogs
Sitting with my kitty on my lap (I love the purring)
Taking a short vacay
Working a puzzle
Working crosswords and sudoku puzzles
Watching a series like Downton Abbey (something in which I'm involved with the characters)
Going to the movies with friends
Getting ice cream at a small boutique shop
Reading old letters from my grandmother (when we used to write letters)
Writing a letter to my granddaughter

As I make this list, I see I have more resources than I realized. I'm eternally grateful when someone who loves me steps in and presents one of these when I'm able to accept. Sometimes just the gesture helps.

All the best from Texas.

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:51pm

What a beautiful list Poppy! I love the image of a hammock on the porch in Texas! :) xx

Kelly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 4:43pm

I definitely second the first and second items on the list...because I probably would not be alive without them. Having a good therapist and psychiatrist on my side has been key for me. Knowing it's ok to pursue medical help including being ok with once telling an ER nurse I was suicidal (which is not easy to do) and that needing a hospital stay is ok too.

Beyond that reading, snuggling with my kitties, spending time by the water and having routine.

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:55pm

Hi Kelly, it is so encouraging for people to hear that it's hard to be there, but doable. Thank you. Xx

The Gardener Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 4:52pm

Poppy, love your list - most to my taste except going to Movies (= films!). For decades as soon as the lights went down I went to sleep - as cinema seats got more expensive my zzz's cost more. Got back to RATG list after a day bedevilled by lack of sleep and extreme heat - but raided the rose garden and did a lovely 'tribute' to Manchester in front of the lectern for the three-way twinning mass tomorrow. I've done all of your list regularly except for meditation, painting (useless, except for houses). But I used the blog to apply to Mr G, shattering. He had a virtual nervous breakdown when he was 47, took a 'back' seat, but never had treatment. I think, before Alzheimer's was diagnosed he was very depressed. Of all the list all he did was read. In 2008 he had Macular Degeneration and could not drive or read. It was a shattering blow, for us both. But because he never did anything but read he was bereft. All other parts of our life were done 'a deux'. I persuaded him to join art groups, French classes, photo club, history society, but if I wasn't there he would not go. Anti-depressants were tried, no use, I took him to a very good psychotherapist - scorn, quacks, for neurotic women. He also scorned all puzzles, never had a 'mate'. This is not, I hope, my usual 'moan' - the pundits say that there is a strong case for at least allaying Alzheimer's if you indulge regularly in exercises for mind and body. And having no 'mates' he had no social life except with me - now circumstances have almost cut that out. He loathed sitting on beaches. I wonder if there are statistics to show if long-term sufferers of depression are more susceptible to Alzheimer? Not a question one wants answered, I think. Dolphin, thanks for your remarks - I know it can't be long before Mr G must go into a home. Boys have offered to subsidise - but I am fierce because we have had a super retirement (a lot due to a son and daughter 'sweeping' as much money as possible into my private pension fund. If possible, I do not wish to deprive them of the chance to do the same. A lady of my age does, daily, what your mother did - I don't think I could - too harrowing.

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:14pm

I get that TG. Thanks for exposing, I too sometimes wish there was a way for Mr TG to get the full time care that would help you both so much, but financial limitations on support are preventing increasingly more vulnerable people from getting the basic help they need. What people have saved all their lives for, not for themselves but their children is being preyed on as we speak. I'll stop short of becoming too political or depressing! I LOVED the flower arrangement of roses for Manchester at the service tomorrow! Wouldn't it be great if in some small way we share how this community can show our love and compassion for humankind by making a tiny (well whatever size you like) floral tribute to the United City of Manchester. Free of religion, race, politics, just compassion for people in pain and hope for better things to come. Mine might be a drawing, a tiny vase, or even some writing. Just a thought. Anyway thanks TG, LPxx

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:19pm

I do hope those that live with depression are not prone to alzheimers! It makes me even more depressed,

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:19pm

Exposing????!!! :))) Technology can be hilarious! I meant explaining! :) xx

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:23pm

Molly we're all different and what can be linked in one person or family can be completely different in another. That crossed my mind for an instant, then I dismissed it, don't give yourself a new worry, see which one you can sling out. Take care LP

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 11:16pm

I slung out a couple of worries today LP. I do deal with things usually a bit better than I come across, I am just cynical :-) thanks LP xx

LP Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 7:56am

Oh, that's good to know Molly :) xx

LP Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:17pm

Hey ratg,
I tuned in and joined in this evening, not to replace in your absence in anyway! I know you well enough to know you won't mind though! :)
Wishes for peace and harmony to all. LPxx

the room above the garage Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 1:01am

I return late...have been volunteering and the day just slid away. I do like to reply to everyone because I know it can take courage to comment and because I'm always interested in everyone's opinion. LP you are an angel...thank you so much for answering the unanswered. It's like walking in and finding someone else cooked. It's made my day :-) xx

LP Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 7:59am

:) xxx

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