How to get yourself out of depression?

The story of a woman who survived depression, panic attacks, eating disorder and suicide attempts

The story of a patient who has been unable to get help and cope with mental illness for over thirty years.

About parental relationship guilt and panic attacks

As psychologists and psychotherapists say, many problems stem from childhood. I was no exception, as my family was and is very troubled. The relationship between my parents was like sadomasochism. I took everything that was going on personally – I took all the emotional burden and tried to figure out what was wrong, what was going on.

From an early age there were seizures. I would wake up scared, with my heart beating fast, and I thought I was dying. Once they even called an ambulance. Later I realized that it was a panic attack.

When I went to my grandmother, who lived far away from my parents, I felt calmer, and I came to my senses. And then it all came back again, depression, apathy. That’s how I lived and grew up.

About dissatisfaction with my appearance, diets and breakdowns

During adolescence, any teenager, boy or girl, begins to change, and something begins to irritate him. It happened to me too. I was no longer happy with my appearance.

I had no relationships with young people, and I really wanted to communicate and be liked by everyone. Television commercials showed girls with perfect figures, perfect faces and teeth. I thought I needed to change my appearance to make me popular and attractive, and they would want to mingle with me.

I couldn’t think of anything better to do than to start losing weight. I wasn’t fat at all, more like subtle and even underweight. 55 kg for my height is an adequate weight, but I was still afraid. The fear of “being fat” remains with me to this day.

55 kg for my height is an adequate weight, but I was still afraid. The fear of “being fat” remains with me to this day.

I started losing weight with one apple a day. Then I gave up food. There was no strength. The weight loss happened over a long period of time and was followed by bouts of bulimia. That is, at first you don’t eat anything, and then you “binge” like a pig. Food has nowhere to go, it no longer fits, but you eat. You know in your brain that you have to stop, but you are not satiated. You eat everything until you burst.

The attacks were accompanied by guilt. Self-loathing turned to self-loathing and self-destruction. I wanted to lose weight, but I got the opposite effect.

About my first experience with psychiatrists

This period was when I graduated from high school. I had to go to the big sea, arrange my life, think about what I was going to be. And it turned out that the only thing I wanted was to be perfect. It was self-destruction in the literal and figurative sense, physically and mentally, mixed with guilt, a prolonged depression. My fragile health got even worse.

At its peak it was very bad, and I asked for help. Through the diagnostic center in Krylatskoe I was referred to the in-patient clinic of the National Center for Reproductive Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. I was crying, I had tantrums, and I agreed to be treated in a psychiatric hospital, the main thing was to overcome my depression.

This decision came as a shock to my parents, and they became distant. How so? Your own child is crazy? They blamed me and my grandmother. Helping me out of my depression? That was out of the question!

That’s not what I wanted. I wanted my mom to hug me and tell me everything was going to be okay. But that wasn’t happening. Mom and Dad had tantrums, and we almost stopped talking.

I wanted my mom to hug me and tell me everything was going to be okay. But it wasn’t. My dad and mom were having tantrums, we almost stopped communicating.

I went to a psychiatric clinic for about three weeks. To cope with the depression, I was prescribed medication therapy and talks with a psychologist.

The medication was quite harsh, and I hardly ate anything. It must have had an even greater effect on my exhausted body. It was impossible to live on such medications, I stopped thinking about anything. I did not become calmer; there was no improvement.

I did not acknowledge my responsibility, my self-destruction and the fact that it was caused by my experiments with weight. I blamed anyone. I blamed my relatives for messing with my psyche, but I didn’t think I had anything to do with it either. All I could do was cry and I couldn’t explain anything. I did not understand how to get out of depression. Working with a psychologist did nothing.

I realized that I had to be discharged from the hospital, because I could see no effect. The doctors told me to take medication after discharge for a very long time, because the illness does not go away so easily. I didn’t pay any attention to it and stopped taking medicine on the same day. I decided that I could cope with depression on my own. It was a new shock – I think drug withdrawal is about the same. I didn’t know what to do to get better. It was a horrible, murderous sensation, being twisted and turned inside out and falling somewhere.

I didn’t pay any attention to it and stopped taking my medication one day. It was a new shock – I think drug “withdrawals” are about the same.

My health did not improve, my relationship with my family did not improve. I lived with my parents. I worked as a salesperson in a pet store. Before that I finished high school, then I went to college.

About depression and suicide attempts

When I’m depressed I don’t even have the strength to brush my teeth or go to the bathroom. It’s not that there’s no motivation, there’s no strength. I mean, you’re not just emotionally exhausted, you’re also physically exhausted. I don’t know how it all happens, but it’s just like all the juices have been sucked out. It was a severe depression. The most you can do is lie around all day, you can lie around indefinitely. Just, really, lie there and poke at your phone, poking around on the Internet for no reason. You can read, too, by the way. But, accordingly, all literature, all music, all that around, it’s all so depressing and depressing, because you don’t want to be happy at all.

I’ve had two suicide attempts. The first sad experience happened when I was a teenager, when I started to change. The second attempt happened when I started living on my own. It wasn’t that long ago, maybe seven years ago.

I call that feeling “immersion.” It’s as if you go deep, deep down to the bottom. You see everything that’s going on, but you can’t interact, you can’t make contact, it’s very, very hard to get over the depression and to rise up on your own.

I call that feeling “sinking.” It’s like you’re going deep, deep to the bottom. You see everything that’s going on, but you can’t interact, you can’t communicate, and it’s very, very difficult to rise up on your own.

About the search for a doctor

I tried going to various specialists, looking for ways to overcome depression. I decided “shit, to die – I’m not dying, to live – I’m not living, I need to do something about it.

I went to a neurologist. A neurologist prescribed antidepressants which helped me to fight depression, gave me a certain remission period. But after withdrawal, it all started to come back gradually.

I tried to address the psychiatric clinic in my place of residence. Most often, psychiatrists prescribe neuroleptics, which are quite heavy drugs. They do not ask themselves what was the cause, how to help a person get out of depression. They don’t look deeply, somehow. That’s why I was afraid to go there.

I called the doctor at home. The doctor was like, “Yeah, you feel like shit in there. “Well, I understand, of course, but what can I do?

I called the doctor at home. The doctor was like, “Yeah, you feel like shit in there. “Well, I understand, of course, but what can I do?

My health experiments were not in vain. I got a rare autoimmune disease. It is not easy to detect it, because it masquerades as other diseases: asthma, bronchitis. Periodically I was taken by ambulance to the hospital, because I could not breathe. After canceling the medication, everything came back again. The last time I was hospitalized with a hemoglobin of 37 (the norm for women is 120-140 hemoglobin). They were looking for a long time, about a month. They had never taken so much blood for tests. Still it was revealed that it was an autoimmune disease. They started me on high doses of hormones and I went from 55 to 80 kg.

My primary care physician was a rheumatologist who said to me: “Look, I don’t know how or what you’re going to do, but you have to find a therapist. Not a psychologist, you have to find a therapist! How it’s going to be, I don’t know.”

I listened. My battle with depression began. Gathering all the willpower I had into a fist, I found the address of a private clinic, found out how it worked. It was far away for me, because I lived in Lobnya, and the “Alliance” was somewhere in Belyaevo. I came to the Alliance without an appointment. I asked if there was a specialist who could see me right away. I said that I really needed it. They called Nino Anatolievna.

Nino Anatolievna received me and listened to me attentively. I do not remember the details of our conversation. But, most likely, I told her that everything was very bad, and I did not know how to overcome depression and apathy. Of course, I wished that I had been given a miracle pill, and it all went away instantly. But that doesn’t happen.

Of course I wished they’d given me a miracle pill, and it all went away instantly. But it doesn’t happen that way.

After the first session I felt no elation, no excitement, no joy. But I knew it was necessary. I didn’t know what to expect from the specialist, because we didn’t know each other, and how the psychotherapy would go. But I agreed, and I had to move on, to get rid of the depression, that’s what I knew. How it would be, good or bad, I didn’t know. There was internal resistance, of course. But something was pushing me forward.

I began to study with Nino Anatolevna Ashmeiba. Our meetings took the form of a conversation. I expected something, I wanted a miracle. Just to take all my sorrows and grief straight away and heal me, tell me how to help myself with depression. That’s what I wanted. Nino Anatolievna said: “No, honey, you’re going to have to work with yourself!” Well, that’s not what she said, but I understood that our meetings would go that way. Internal resistance persisted. “Man, how is this? What is this? I don’t understand how it all works.”

About the therapist’s tasks that left the most vivid impression

At one of Ashmeiba’s sessions, Nino Anatolievna gave me a knitted cat. She said: “This is you, as a child, as a teenager. You should say all the warmest words. What would you want to say? How would you support yourself?” It was difficult. Simple words are hard to say to yourself. Nino Anatolievna made it clear that it was self-hatred, which had been formed since childhood. The hatred grew along with me, it did not go anywhere and was destroying me from the inside. Self-hatred, self-deprecation.

This hatred is a great destructive force, and it destroys not only you, but also your surroundings. That is, everything around you will of course seem disgusting. I had to accept myself. I had to somehow love myself, start respecting myself. For being fat, imperfect, mentally unstable, something I wasn’t; for not liking me as I thought I did.

Another assignment Nino Anatolievna gave me was to buy cream and smear myself with love. The easiest assignment, but how do you start touching yourself with love? When you hate yourself, when you are fat, you hide your whole body. It’s unpleasant to touch. You hide it all, especially when you’re full. It’s not even pleasant to touch yourself. And then you have to put cream on. I bought some cream, and I dabbed, but, of course, without much fervor or special love. I did it through force. Not very often and not as perfectly as possible, but I tried.

Another task Nino Anatolievna gave me was to buy some cream and smear myself with love. The easiest assignment, but how do you start touching yourself with love?

About life now and plans for the future

The condition has stabilized. I don’t remember the exact point at which I felt better. Gradually, step by step, everything was gone, all the negative things. It became calm. I was able to get rid of depression. I’m enjoying life. I have a lot of emotions.

I am not the only one who enjoys life. What happens around me is also charged by what comes from within. I’ve noticed that people are changing, my relationships with those around me are changing, and everything is succeeding.

Now I also have to take antidepressants – maintenance dosage. Ashmeiba Nino Anatolievna explained that they need to be taken for a longer time, possibly for life. No one can say that.

I can say that psychotherapy for depression and treatment does not solve all problems, but it helps to open my eyes and gives direction as to where to go next. My condition was like a vicious circle where you don’t see a way out. And here they show you – here, please, the door is open, you have to go there. But how you go is up to you. They help you to go. The main job is to work with yourself.

My condition was like a vicious circle, when you cannot see the way out. And here they show you – here, please, the door is open, you have to go there. But how you go through it is up to you.

As of December 2018, I moved to Italy. On February 25, I will have a wedding ceremony. There won’t be a big wedding, everything will be quite modest. But I’m getting married. I live in a suburb of the province of Turin. Not in an apartment, my fiancé bought a house with a garden. Communicating with nature, fresh air, and probably all the things many people dream of.

When I was asked as a teenager, “When are you going to get married?” I said: “Never! Never!” Relationships with young men and then with men didn’t work out for me. Most of the time I was afraid and ran away from relationships. In my 37 years of life, I had never had a long-term relationship. And now the first deep and thoughtful, serious relationship has happened. This is new, it’s unusual, and I love it.

Psychologist tips: how to get out of depression

What is depression? How do you cope with this condition? Who can help? What does a clinical psychologist do? Answers to these and other questions – in our article “Depression: psychologist advice on getting out of a difficult situation.

The intensity of modern life does not allow people to relax. We increasingly forget about ourselves under the weight of a large volume of tasks. Work, household chores, taking care of children and relatives. We have less and less time for ourselves and our hobbies. As a result, many people get so tired that they don’t even notice how they fall into a depressive state. According to specialists – clinical psychologists, in 5-10 years, depression may become one of the most common illnesses in the world.

We offer you the advice of a practicing psychologist: how to get out of depression, who can help, how to find its cause and eliminate it.

Why is there a depression?

The cause of a depressed state can be constant stress, unresolved problems in personal life, work conflicts, loss of loved ones, etc. This is a normal human reaction to some kind of mental trauma. But even healthy people can not always cope with bad emotions, and the predisposition of a person to depression can cause its aggravation.

It also happens that because of certain diseases (neurological, endocrinological) people also show signs of this mental disorder. The illness may be a result of taking certain medications. To diagnose and help people cope with the causes and consequences of this condition can both close people and a qualified specialist – a clinical psychologist.

How depression manifests itself and when it is time to see a clinical psychologist

If you notice that you are passive, bad mood, lethargy, irritability that lasts more than 2 weeks, then this is a reason to see a specialist and get advice from a psychologist. Depression is a fairly insidious disease, it is sometimes difficult to notice on their own, and to get out of a depressed state on their own is difficult and sometimes almost impossible.

Additional symptoms may include loss of interest in your hobbies, loss of energy, changes in weight and appetite. If your loved ones notice that you have become “not the same as before”, do not leave such remarks unattended. Timely referral to a specialist can help you significantly improve the quality of your life. Do not neglect the advice of a psychologist. Depression can even cause physical illnesses: headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal and sexual disorders, chest and joint pain, etc.

There are many varieties of depression (reactive, seasonal, somatic, etc.), and only a competent clinical psychologist working in both psychology and psychotherapy can identify your type and help. Such a specialist will conduct a comprehensive examination to identify your internal problems, find their causes and eliminate their consequences. By following the psychologist’s advice on how to get out of depression, you can significantly improve your well-being, both physiologically and mentally.

Coping with depression by yourself

If you’ve decided to cope with your depressed state by your own forces, it’s already a good sign of recovery. This means that you can assess an unpleasant situation adequately and are ready to take measures to eliminate it. Clinical psychologists advise for depression:

  • Get a good night’s sleep: sleep is a great medicine and a way for the body to get in shape. Don’t overwork yourself, relax by all available means. Do not self-treat with drugs or alcohol. This can only worsen your condition.
  • Sports. Any physical activity helps your body to switch to another type of activity, which has a positive effect on the removal of stress and tension.
  • If you have the opportunity, change your activity or at least find a hobby that allows you to take time for yourself.
  • Do not stay alone. Vocalize your problems and pour your heartache to friends and relatives. If these people are not around, it is best to see a clinical psychologist.
  • Try to change the scenery, at least for a while: travel, a vacation away from home, but even repairs in the apartment – anything that can divert attention will do.
  • Try to eat right! The most ordinary chocolate and bananas contain substances beneficial to mental well-being – endorphins. Suitable and containing thiamine nuts, seeds, some kinds of bread, buckwheat and oatmeal. Watch your diet to eat right, not to overeat, but also not to refuse to eat at all.

And yet the best way to quickly cope with its heavy mental state – to see a clinical psychologist. A competent specialist will suggest the best way out of a difficult situation, find a suitable method of help and be able to monitor the result.

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