Anxiety and Depression Support
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What does "Better" feel like?

Hello everyone,

It's been awhile since I've been online. There's been a lot going on in my life (which could make a separate post in itself). I've asked my Therapist and Pyschiatrist this very same question: "How do I know if I feel better or not?" Sounds a little silly I admit but I guess I don't even have confidence in my mental illness :( After my symptoms improved over 3 years ago I don't remember how it felt. Was I just able to assimilate into appropriate behavior? Or did I genuinely feel better? I remember being confused when I relasped this year as well because I forgot what the empty or numb feeling felt like. I want to tell my Doctors the medication isn't working but I don't know what "working" feels like. I don't feel any different mentally. I don't know what improvement feels like and if I'm putting this high expectation on what being healthy is supposed to feel like. It really gets in the way of adjusting medications soley because I really have no idea. It's scary because the change goes unnoticed until its too late. I guess I'm just wondering what you guys think? My Therapist suggested I'm might be having Anxiety about my Anxiety (Oh the inconveinent irony). I want to hear what you guys have to say though. Thank you so much for hearing me out :)


4 Replies

Hi Amanda,

My tip is first of all, define what your mental illness looks and feels like to you. Next you have the diagnostic criteria, tick off what you have there. As every recovery experience is different, look at your lists to see if you have a little less of that symptom. When you have zero symptoms on both lists that would be considered 100 % recovery. If not 100% recovery, then you might be the best you can be. Only you can tell.

This is a pretty good link to what other people have written.

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I was disappointed that the link didn't work for me. Maybe you have a different one I could try?


Hi AmandaMK,

If you aren't impressed with an empty or numb feeling, you could be feeling good. If you aren't plagued with sighs and desires to quit what you're doing and to just get up and walk away from things multiple times a day, only to gaze outside a window and do nothing, you could be feeling good. Are you getting the idea yet? Sometimes you slip into "happy" and don't realize it yet. What you experience isn't bad, or sad or depressing. You don't feel weighed down with worries. You keep feeling better as the weeks wear on until you actually start to think some things are funny. A few weeks later you laugh for the 1st time in many, many months. Now you've officially arrived at Happy. It's a process and takes time. Are you feeling anything along this pathway? If so, you could be feeling "better" as you have been asked. You might want to think about this.


I am afraid you are still very depressed and I am shocked your doctors have yet to realize it by now. As long as you have that empty numb feeling in there, you are likely depressed.

You should be involved in the treatment decision making process. So whatever you feel, whatever it feels like, you need to tell your doctors about it so they can help you update your treatment. Do research on your condition, available medications to educate yourself for when you go back to the doctor so you are at least more informed about what needs to change.

Also, I think what you need to do is learn to exam your mind often cause that is the way you would know if you are better or not. You should be in control of your mind, so dig in there to figure out what is keeping you from being in control. The depression is sitting there in your mind. So examining your mind helps you realize the changes, any changes, as they happen.

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