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FreeThinkerNZ

Positive Thread To Support Ex-Cs With Depression Struggles At The Moment

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In light of the death of Robin Williams, I have been reminded of just how many ex-cs are struggling with depression and other mental illness at the current time.  Some are even dealing with suicidal feelings themselves.

 

So I thought I'd start this thread so we can post words of support and ideas on what has worked for us or people we know.

 

I have lived with depression for most of my life and at times have had suicidal feelings.  I have a psychologist and psychiatrist and also do a range of things like exercising regularly, eating healthy, getting good sleep and having contact with supportive family and friends.

 

  • What has helped you?
  • What would you say to someone struggling at the moment?

 

Also, in the US there is a suicide hotline available on 1-800-273-8255.  (If you are in another country, there should be a number at the front of your phone book).

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Here's what has helped me:

1. Avoiding alcohol - When I drink to much I often get depressed.

2. Doing something outside - Going on walks with my wife helps quite a bit. Playing with the dogs or walking them helps as well.

3. Going out with friends - I usually do fine having alcohol in these situations as well.

4. Working on a hobby - I like to learn and write songs.

5. Eating well - Avoiding too much junk food and eating lots of fats (good for brain and energy) and veggies (B vitamins) helps.

 

Alone time for introverts and people time for extroverts is a must.

Sex helps.

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I thought of a few more:

- Writing out my desires and disappointments.

- Thinking back on past hurts and accepting them.

- Writing out goals and milestones, sometimes scheduling and budgeting for them.

- Writing out dreams and impossible goals.

- Enjoying a good comedy.

- Reading a good book.

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Thanks for starting this. It's a good resource. I am in the pits of depression at the moment so I don't feel as if I have much to contribute just now.

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I totally suffer depression.  Lately writing has provided good doses of dopamine to counter it.

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Good thread, FT. Stoicism has really helped me overcome spells of depression- a reminder to dismiss the things outside our control (such as past events or the opinions of others) and focus on those within our control, like acting virtuously and doing the right thing in the present. Marcus Aurelius' Meditations really saved me when I was leaving Christianity and I still read it regularly, especially when I'm having any sort of mental trouble.

 

"Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each one of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small –small as the corner of the earth in which we live it. Small as even the greatest renown, passed from mouth to mouth by short-lived stick figures, ignorant alike of themselves and those long dead.

 

... Then what should we work for? Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech. A resolve to accept what happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring."

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A few things helped me.

 

Seeing a real therapist instead of clergy.

 

Learning to be aware of my mental state and sharing it with a trusted person. When I notice the depression creeping in I tell my husband so he's aware I could use extra care.

 

Getting away from toxic people as much as possible.

 

Reducing my commitments. I was burned out and exhausted, doing tons of volunteer hours with no recharge.

 

Eating better and more regularly.

 

Getting in some exercise. Love yoga, especially without the woo.

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I think it's the lonliness that gets me.

 

I live alone. I'm currently not in a relationship. I work odd hours and have rotating days off. I am home and awake when everyone else is alseep. This makes it difficult for me to do things like meet up with friends for dinner or join any kind of club or class or league that has a set schedule. This has also caused me to lose touch with my friends who work traditional hours. So I constantly feel isolated and alone. I do everything alone...wake up alone, go to sleep alone, go grocery shopping alone. I'm always alone. Even if I do go out, I come home by myself to an empty house.

 

When I hear things about "living in the now" I think about how this moment is just another moment I'm wasting by sitting here alone wondering when it all went wrong.

 

I guess my positive contributions are similar to everyone else's.

 

I work out, do yoga, try to eat healthy, avoid alcohol, go to therapy, treat myself to massages, etc. I don't know that any of it helps the debilitating lonliness though. Removing the guilt of Christianity has helped somewhat, but I still have a lot to work though, especially the self-hated.

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I think it's the lonliness that gets me.

 

I live alone. I'm currently not in a relationship. I work odd hours and have rotating days off. I am home and awake when everyone else is alseep. This makes it difficult for me to do things like meet up with friends for dinner or join any kind of club or class or league that has a set schedule. This has also caused me to lose touch with my friends who work traditional hours. So I constantly feel isolated and alone. I do everything alone...wake up alone, go to sleep alone, go grocery shopping alone. I'm always alone. Even if I do go out, I come home by myself to an empty house.

 

When I hear things about "living in the now" I think about how this moment is just another moment I'm wasting by sitting here alone wondering when it all went wrong.

 

I guess my positive contributions are similar to everyone else's.

 

I work out, do yoga, try to eat healthy, avoid alcohol, go to therapy, treat myself to massages, etc. I don't know that any of it helps the debilitating lonliness though. Removing the guilt of Christianity has helped somewhat, but I still have a lot to work though, especially the self-hated.

That is tough, violet. I've been there too. It's all in how you perceive it, though. You can choose whether or not to feel lonely and you can choose whether or not to feel self-hatred. It seems that your negative thoughts are shaping your perception of reality and it's your perception, not reality in itself, that's causing you the harm. From what I understand, the limitations placed on your social life are outside your control- so why not accept it and focus on doing something constructive with your time? Just my $.02 from a stoic perspective.

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I just keep wondering where all the hope and all the help is. That's all you hear...there is help, there is hope.

 

Right now I wish all the fucks people would give if I was dead, they would give right now. I'm so sick of being invisible and alone. I'm so sick of people telling me to just smile. That it's not that bad. You have no fucking idea how bad it is. How I want to give up every night.

 

I want to find people who are as fucked up and as broken as I am. I can't stand trying and pretending to be normal among normal people, becuase that's not who I am. I know there are other people in pain. Where are all these people in real life?  :(

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Guest ninurta

In light of the death of Robin Williams, I have been reminded of just how many ex-cs are struggling with depression and other mental illness at the current time.  Some are even dealing with suicidal feelings themselves.

 

So I thought I'd start this thread so we can post words of support and ideas on what has worked for us or people we know.

 

I have lived with depression for most of my life and at times have had suicidal feelings.  I have a psychologist and psychiatrist and also do a range of things like exercising regularly, eating healthy, getting good sleep and having contact with supportive family and friends.

 

  • What has helped you?
  • What would you say to someone struggling at the moment?

 

Also, in the US there is a suicide hotline available on 1-800-273-8255.  (If you are in another country, there should be a number at the front of your phone book).

Aren't you the one who was belittling people in the past for talking about their problems online?

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I just keep wondering where all the hope and all the help is. That's all you hear...there is help, there is hope.

 

Right now I wish all the fucks people would give if I was dead, they would give right now. I'm so sick of being invisible and alone. I'm so sick of people telling me to just smile. That it's not that bad. You have no fucking idea how bad it is. How I want to give up every night.

 

I want to find people who are as fucked up and as broken as I am. I can't stand trying and pretending to be normal among normal people, becuase that's not who I am. I know there are other people in pain. Where are all these people in real life?  :(

I'm sure there are plenty of people all around you in pain. But they're pretending to be normal and wear a smile too so you wouldn't know it.

 

The world is tough and we didn't choose to be a part of it, so I don't blame you for wanting to leave. I don't blame people who do decide to leave- that's our choice, since being born was not. On the other hand, you can choose to make your life more pleasant. Your suffering is FINITE and it will only go on as long as you want it to, or until you die. Nothing is unbearable and there will always be people, even strangers, who care about you and do give a fuck. While you're here you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. All this is rational, solid reason for hope and reason to want to stick around.

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What really helps me is a good diet, exercise and getting enough sleep.

 

Being that I am a vain person anyway I figure if I try and be as fit and healthy and looking as good as I possibly can, then that's one less thing I have to feel bad about.  I can control this to a certain extent, so it helps that the effort I put in actually has benefits I can see.

 

There's probably more to it than that, unfortunately money has a big impact on my overall state of being.  Money may not buy happiness but having options can at least help you avoid misery.

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When I start having thoughts about suicide, I tend to spend a lot of time planning how I would do that, and get on a roll with thinking about how awful (I think at the time) life is. It tends to send me spiraling into a really dark, hopeless mood. So I remind myself how many years I've been alive, and ask why I would want to throw all that away on something temporary that has only affected me for a relatively short time. It's pointless to spend years or decades determined to survive high school/term paper horror/terrible bosses/whatever else you've been through just to give up because of something fairly small compared to everything else put together that you survived.

 

Music helps a great deal, depending on the person I guess. Anyone up for hardcore?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JatwZQ7vQEg

 

Or not, if you like softer things:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOFKjHDHkLk

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I just keep wondering where all the hope and all the help is. That's all you hear...there is help, there is hope.

 

Right now I wish all the fucks people would give if I was dead, they would give right now. I'm so sick of being invisible and alone. I'm so sick of people telling me to just smile. That it's not that bad. You have no fucking idea how bad it is. How I want to give up every night.

 

I want to find people who are as fucked up and as broken as I am. I can't stand trying and pretending to be normal among normal people, becuase that's not who I am. I know there are other people in pain. Where are all these people in real life?  sad.png

 

Here.

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Violet butterfly needs a kitty.

 

Nice Kitty's are nice to have around. Some cats are really vocal when you talk to them. Just having a pet that's pleasant, depends on you and loves you back goes a long way toward alleviating feelings of lonliness.

 

I suggested a cat cuz I absolutely love mine. He's a brat sometimes. But he's really cool!

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Great ideas and support everyone, keep it coming!

 

Violetbutterfly ((hug))

 

Everyone with depression or something similar ((hug))

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When I hear things about "living in the now" I think about how this moment is just another moment I'm wasting by sitting here alone wondering when it all went wrong.

 ... Removing the guilt of Christianity has helped somewhat, but I still have a lot to work though, especially the self-hated.

Did your depression begin while you were a Christian? (I apologize if you've stated this somewhere and I haven't read it.) I can imagine how Christian religion would make it worse. You mention self-hatred. You also mention "wondering when it all went wrong." Have you explored that either on your own or with a therapist? It might be an expression of emotional pain, or you might also sometimes obsess about trying to unravel your condition and get to the source or the start of it.

 

I'm glad that removing the negativity of Christianity has helped to some extent.

 

Anyway, I'm just letting you know again that I do understand somewhat, and that I care.

 

Human

 

 

Thanks, Human.

 

I've been battling depression my whole life, but yes, it did begin as a Christian. Catholic, to be specific. Where you are born a pathetic, worthless sinner. I've had a really hard time losing that mindset, even after losing religion.

 

 

 

When I start having thoughts about suicide, I tend to spend a lot of time planning how I would do that, and get on a roll with thinking about how awful (I think at the time) life is. It tends to send me spiraling into a really dark, hopeless mood. So I remind myself how many years I've been alive, and ask why I would want to throw all that away on something temporary that has only affected me for a relatively short time. It's pointless to spend years or decades determined to survive high school/term paper horror/terrible bosses/whatever else you've been through just to give up because of something fairly small compared to everything else put together that you survived.

 

I try to remember this. Mostly it's the pain I know I'd cause my family that keeps me here.

 

But that's why I feel so overwhelmed lately. Maybe it's comparable to a mid life crisis. When I was a kid I looked forward to high school. In high school I looked forward to college. Then getting married, then having babies and when that didn't work out, I looked forward to getting divorced and having some fabulous single years. But it didn't happen that way and I've been in physical and emotional pain for the last two years solid. And I feel like I have nothing to look forward to. Most people my age are looking forward to watching their kids grow, grandkids, retirement....I feel like I'm looking at a lifetime of lonely days and lonely nights and working until the day I die. I don't see a life for myself.

 

And yes, I am in therapy. I don't know if it's helping though, it just seems to reinforce the fact that I'm broken.

 

 

Violet butterfly needs a kitty.

 

Nice Kitty's are nice to have around. Some cats are really vocal when you talk to them. Just having a pet that's pleasant, depends on you and loves you back goes a long way toward alleviating feelings of lonliness.

 

I suggested a cat cuz I absolutely love mine. He's a brat sometimes. But he's really cool!

 

Thanks. Unfotunately, I can't have pets where I live. I miss my doggie, but right now a dog for me would be extra stress anyway with having to walk him several times a day, especially in winter. And unfair to him with the long hours I work. A kitty would seem like a good solution but I am severely allergic. :(

 

Thanks for the support here. It's good just to know sometimes that I'm not alone.

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You're not gettin' off THAT easy!!!!

 

Y'know -- they DO make hypoallergenic cats?

 

So, yeah, the kitty thing is still on the table. :-P

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I've heard of them, but I wonder how I would react...I am REALLY allergic.

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I just keep wondering where all the hope and all the help is. That's all you hear...there is help, there is hope.

 

Right now I wish all the fucks people would give if I was dead, they would give right now. I'm so sick of being invisible and alone. I'm so sick of people telling me to just smile. That it's not that bad. You have no fucking idea how bad it is. How I want to give up every night.

 

I want to find people who are as fucked up and as broken as I am. I can't stand trying and pretending to be normal among normal people, becuase that's not who I am. I know there are other people in pain. Where are all these people in real life?  sad.png

 

Hey, I work odd hours too. Social life somehow goes down the river. And being depressed part of you does not care and part of you does. At least for me.

Is it not that somehow you want to be alone but then again you want to spend time with people who matter? And that is what somehow causes the lonely feeling. Because you know you could go out and have fun but somehow there is something inside you that holds you back. Some undefinable fear. And you know, if someone would call you and ask you to go out you would get over it in an instant. And it is the same thing that holds you back from reaching out.

 

I am not sure if the people really are there when you reach out. To me it seems more like when someone gets eaten by depression to the point he makes his death wishes real, people go: Why did he not reach out? Why did he battle this all alone? Somehow to me it looks like a white washing of oneself. Because when you tell people about your struggles they have little understanding, come up with cheap solace like: It will pass. Don't listen to negativity! Just get over it. Or: Go out, exercise! Think positive! Get a hobby! And the classic: We all feel down once in a while. It kinda is like no one really understands what is going on and puts the responsibility on you. And yes it is you who carries the responsibility, but maybe not in the way others try to make you believe. I think it is important to find the people you can reach out to, the ones you can trust and who understand depression. Because those who don't just don't. And this is what makes reaching out so hard.

 

I also think there is a misunderstanding in what depressed people who reach out need. It is not a solution or a listening and empathic ear. While this might be part of it what someone needs most is people who make you feel NORMAL. Who include you in their lives, even if you are not able to smile for the moment.

 

And then the lonely feeling...I think it is a product of our thoughts. Of course if you are with someone you might find yourself feeling less lonely. But maybe it is because you don't have the time to think about it...I have found myself feeling quite comfortable being alone when my depression is less intense. But when it hits hard I feel so alone and I think it has to do with the feeling of helplessness. It is all feelings. Crazy feelings.

 

I think to come here and write about your struggles is a good way to deal with it, when there is no other option. I created a secret facebook group and invited people I know understand me. Some of them live too far to ever get in touch physically but some of them are near me. I think it is a nonintrusive way to reach out. Because it appears as a status update only they can see and if someone wants to respond to it he can. So far I had no need to use it, but when I do I will see how it works.

 

Sending you a big hug!

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. I know there are other people in pain. Where are all these people in real life?  sad.png

 

Here.

 

 

Here

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What helps me:

 

To take a mental step back and become an observer of myself, being conscious that it is chemicals and not attitude or so.

 

Black high percentage chocolate (90% is the highest I could find so far near me). Really...I eat like two peaces (a row) a day since about two months now and I can feel a difference (might be placebo...but who cares). Warning: If you have difficulties to be disciplined about it, you might not try this out because the addiction factor is there and you might want to eat more (and no it is not the sweetness since it has almost none. It is more like coffee...when you think you need more).

 

To get a deeper understanding of myself, my history and how it plays into my current struggles. Like finding out about CPTSD and narcissist parents set my whole history into a whole new context and it helps me to accept an emotional flashback for what it is instead of going crazy because I have no idea of what's going on thinking I am weird and all.

 

Analyzing past events but not overanalyzing them.

 

Accepting that I live now and my past is my past. While it is an important part of me it is not me.

 

To decide to be me no matter what. To listen to others when I find something valuable in what they say but trusting in myself and taking my own decisions.

 

When I wake up I need some stimuli in order to get fully here and get up. So I have my smartphone next to my bed and the first thing I do once I feel like getting up (which too is a constant battle I have not resolved so far) is to check my facebook. I do about ten minutes of reading through statuses and sometimes I see an article that interests me and while doing so I can literally feel how my brain awakes. Now I know smartphones and social media are in discussion of causing depression and all...now for me they work just fine in the morning.

 

I tell myself often that I am a good person and that I always tried to be a good person. That I am safe now, there is nothing to worry.

Also I give myself the permission to be a jerk...mainly when I am in my car...means not to feel guilty when I did something that wasn't that great or might be mean to other drivers or so. To forget about it and if not possible to thrive on it kinda. Not that I go and drive like an asshole. But I hope you understand what I try to say here. Or the same when I say something that might hurt someone. I go: Not my problem. I am not responsible for their feelings. That does not mean I go around and saying mean things to everyone. But sometimes it just happens that you say things that hurt others and it is unavoidable and I don't want to feel guilty for being human or even apologize my humanity.

 

And I will do some inner work soon. With people who understand and care.

 

Also I plan to see a psychiatrist in January.

 

And I work on my very own dream :)

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That strong chocolate stuff is really good. I buy myself a bar of 90% every now and then. To me, chocolate in that high of a concentration tastes almost fruity. I didn't know it was addictive though.

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I've heard of them, but I wonder how I would react...I am REALLY allergic.

If you can find a place that has them, it will be worth checking into. You can go there and play with them for a bit to see how you react.

 

Thing is, when it comes to kitties, THEY are the ones that choose their owners (in my experience). So if one picks you, and you have a reaction, its gonna be hard to turn him\her away.

 

The only thing I don't like about my male cat is that he likes to hump my blankets when I lay in bed. I read up on this behavior and found that more often then not, male cats do this. Its like kitty masturbation. Its natural. But I still don't like it. He's doing it right now as I type this.

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