Living And Then Thriving With Depression

Hi all - I share my story to give hope to all of you who are living with depression and anxiety because if you take the right action it is possible to live a rich and full life. I am not suggesting that this is easy or that there is a quick fix but you can help yourself get better.

My depression first kicked in straight after my father diagonosed with alzhiemers. I can almost remember to the day. It was confirmed that he had it and the next day i just started feeling ****. You know how it is. Initially i just stopped enjoying the activities and experiences of my life. Life no longer had any brightness. My head felt thick, full and achy the whole time. Progressively my sleep got worse until i was only sleeping about and hour or two a night all the while holding down a reasonably responsible job. Hell i would put on a brave face every day and act like the jovial person everyone new me as, as all the whilst i felt like i was dieing from the inside.

This went on for 2-3 months. I didnt share it with anyone as i didnt want to burden them. Then finally one night after a deep but restless sleep of 30 mins only, i was lieing in bed wracked with anxiety and in complete despair. I couldnt think of one good reason to live nor one positive thing in my life. I tried to hold onto the image of my mother or neices or nephews and live for them but this didnt have any resonance. Then it occured to me that the only way i would be able to sleep and settle was by getting the anxiety out of my system and i could do this by cutting my wrists and letting the blood run out............oh no!!!! This was horrifying stuff and scared me even more. So i got myself out of the house (you know so I would be well away from knives) and headed to a pretty walk in the city and did that for 3 hours in the morning.

So i got about as low as you could get and suffice to say that the next few years were tough at times but the last 2 years have been really very good. Dont get my wrong I have had some episodes of anxiety (not depression though) but these are getting shorter and less frequent.

So what has worked for me
1) No matter how bad you feel always get out of bed and face the day.
2) When you do start to feel poorly go into self help mode. For me this is immediately cutting out all alchol, caffenine and going to the gym twice a day - there is nothing like endorphins!
3) Dont hate or battle your depression and remember it is not who you are - just one facet of your you that has got a little out of control
4) A good therapist has been invaluable and has assisted me in exploring what has been the underlying reasons for behind my depression and anxiety. (This can be expensive and i guess i have spent $10k+ over the last 5 years. I have been lucky in that i have had pretty well paid jobs).
5) You have to start dis-associating with your ego/mind. This sounds a bit new agey and wanky (an Australian term) but you are not either of those things you are what sits deeper underneath. You are what is at your core.
6) Eckhard Tolles - Stillness Speaks has is a good reference to learn more about this.
7) Meditation works! I am surprised but since i have started to regularly meditate there is no doubt my mental health has improved. It has been fantastic way of moving the anxiety out of my system.
8) I suggest the 3 stage breathing technique as taught by the Art of Living
9) Take risks - never let your depression or anxiety rule your life.
10) Take medication if you need it. I take 5 milligrams a day of Lexapro. For me this is just enough in my system so i know if get bad again it wont take long to get back to a medicinal dosage but it is not to much that if effects my enjoyment of sex.
11) I am open about my depression now. Not to the point where i have told the management of the company i work at but pretty much all my friends know and certainly all my family.

As i said the last the 2.5 years i havent had any depression and only bouts of anxiety which are disappearing pretty quickly. I dont by any means think that i am cured of this condition. Indeed i accept that i will have to manage it for the rest of my life, much like a diabetic does there condition, but i do think i can continue to improve my self management.

I am particularly proud that over the last 18 months i havent gotten sick. In this time i have had an extremely demanding job, I am national marketing manager for a very large organisation and have had a boss that has bullied me badly for 12 months. It has tested me but i havent gotten sick and no i am not going to from it.

I hope that my story helps and please hang in there as there is hope.

My positive thoughts and wishes go out to all those who need them.


Roguish1 Roguish1
31-35, M
Jul 13, 2010