Coping Strategies

Coping Strategies

Hi everybody,

I have been reading posts on this website for about a week or so and am genuinley impressed by the level of empathy and warmth shown to sufferers of depression.

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Damian. I am 41 years old and have suffered from diagnosed episodal clinical depression since the age of 20, although in hindsight the origins of my illness go back much further.

Over the course of those 20 years, I have been prescribed various SRI anti-depressants, non of which have had any long-lasting effects. I have long since realised that the triggers for my depression are a combination of stress and anxiety related factors and I believe in a preventitive approach, in dealing with the underlying causes of my predicament rather than merely treating the symptoms. The problem is, and Im sure that I share this in common with millions of others, I cannot access a regular talking based therapy, without going privately. Rates for Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), typicallly cost anywhere from £35-100, and I simply cannot afford to pay this on a regular basis. Although I have benefited from 6 week blocks of NHS counselling in the past; it is nigh on impossible to continue past week 6, as noone would ever get to the top of the list to be assessed and start their counselling. Self- help groups run by organisations such as the Depression Alliance and Mind, but to mention two are invaluable, and I will be attending my first group session with a new mental health charity called Progression which is based in York on Sunday evening (just in case anyone is looking to attend a group in that area, it may be worth considering)

Depression is the invisible menace that blights all our lives, and I for one have felt disconnected from fellow sufferers,for too long. We cannot expect other people to understand our suffering, some are more empathetic than others, but we know dont we ! oh how we know !!! I used to be careful about how I described my depression and usually talked about 'experiencing depression'. I conversed with people in an abstract manner, almost as if I was talking about depresssion in general. The ironic thing is that we are all experienced actually, and im sure that there is a wealth of coping strategies that we use everyday that may be of benefit to others. In my next blog, for what it is worth I will share with you, some of mine.

But to wet your appetite, here's a cognitive thought, that promotes confidence,comfort and well being on a daily basis. Its very simple, just try to complete one task per day, thats it and no more!Even it is as simple a domestic chore as doing the washing up or taking the rubbish out. There are days, when all I have achieved is that one task, but on the blackest days, when you are devoid of any hope, the struggle to complete this one task is so great, that I feel proud of myself, as it would have been so easy to not even attempt it. Does anybody have any pearls to impart on what can work for them ?

I am tempted to write more..... but will refrain. In the words of the renowned TV psychiatrist Dr Fraser Crane. 'Good Mental health'.

Have a great day everyone !

Damian

3 Replies

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  • Hi Damian,

    Thank you for your informative post and welcome to this Group. I have found the advice and support on here invaluable and it is very comforting to know that there are so many others in the same boat.

    Your advice on taking one day at a time and trying to complete one task a day is something that I can relate to. This year is going to be a particularly tough and life changing one for me what with my son leaving for university and the family home to be sold after my relationship breakdown last year. I hate change of any sort and find even going on holiday stressful and upsetting due to the change in routine. I'm not sure why this is - I just feel so vulnerable and insecure when my routine is upset. So the thought of all the change ahead in the next few months fills me with panic and dread and I'm unable to do much other than sink even further into depression. So, what I try and do now is make a list of things that I need to do each day, even if they are basic ones such as doing the washing, the dusting or the weekly shop. Keeping busy is of course a good way of preventing the mind wondering to the 'darker side' and there is a sense of satisfaction once the things to do have been crossed off the list. One day at a time is my motto at the moment.

    Good luck with your Self-Help Group on Sunday. This evening I will be attending my first group session with my local Depression Alliance. I am a little nervous and apprehensive but I am hoping that the sessions will be helpful. I'm sure they will. It will be a relief to drop that 'mask' and hopefully be able to relate to like-minded people.

    Take care

    x

  • welcome Damian.I too love the support from this site.Many peoples blogs and other peoples responses could be mine but I have difficulty putting words onto paper and I cant give advice as I dont rate myself worthy of even helping myself.I too make lists of menial things to do and feel proud of myself when I can cross things off the list.Little every day is my saying.I have never considered group therapy feeling ashamed and shy and I dont know how I would cope listening to other peoples problems as I think I would add them to mine - if that makes sense.I will consider it though as it sounds a way forward

  • Hi Damian

    It's a great post! It's always good to hear positive things as well, most of us have good times as well as bad and hearing about the good times gives support as well as the other times when we receive empathic answers to our blogs.

    Let's hope we can all help one another to remain positive.

    Sue