Depression and alternative treatments

Posted by Gary, Alumni Mentor @gman007, Jan 18, 2018

I am certain this has been discussed previously, but thought I would jump start a discussion to see what I can learn. I suffer from clinical depression and mine is certainly affected by seasons and the immediate aftermath of the holidays and combination of many short, cloudy days are my worst season. It became obvious with my last visit to my psychiatrist that it was time for me to change providers. The fact of the matter in my area is that it is very easy to get an appointment with a bad Psych and a very long wait to see a good one. I was a bit discouraged that I thought there was help out there, but that I may not be able to access it for several months, so…I have started reading and practicing Mindfulness: An eight week plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. If you had known me 15 years ago you would have heard me compare meditation to voodoo, probably unfavorably. I was not impressed by any claims made toward alternative treatment for anything. I have always imagined the worst of every situation and my perception and imagination would have produced Armageddon years ago. My thinking was that even if mindfulness did not have a positive effect on my depression, it may help my near and long-term outlook. I am only one week in, but I can already see times where my reaction to something that may have made me more depressed have not had that effect at all. I don’t know if everyone else will have the same experience, but it is something that those of who have battled this debilitating disease can do proactively that does not include a new medicine. Please do not start this and stop taking any antidepressant or other anxiety medication before discussing with your doctor – for me, I see it as a complimentary approach to my disease.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety Support Group.

@georgette12

I am trying to find a part time job. This is really a good way to maintain mental health, at least for me. I usually work in the helping field. I’ve found it rewarding even when working in alzheimer’s or hospice facilities, or with the developmentally disabled. I kind of seem to be able to work with people who are difficult to be around.

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That’s a great idea! I volunteer at Hospice and I feed the homeless. It really does help my mood.

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Thank you for your post I live with depression and it’s taken a toll I hear voices and have hallucinations that is what depresses me too I went to mindful classes I didn’t find it too helpful meditation is totally out I’m sad to say
Because the voices are constantly talking and it’s hard to concentrate the only relief I get from them is when I sleep
Then I have nightmares. All that could be why I’m depressed I don’t know. You are right about having to change doctors some being good some being crap I have had both.

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@lafaye

Thank you for your post I live with depression and it’s taken a toll I hear voices and have hallucinations that is what depresses me too I went to mindful classes I didn’t find it too helpful meditation is totally out I’m sad to say
Because the voices are constantly talking and it’s hard to concentrate the only relief I get from them is when I sleep
Then I have nightmares. All that could be why I’m depressed I don’t know. You are right about having to change doctors some being good some being crap I have had both.

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I am sorry you have not found your answer yet, but I believe there is something out there that will work for each of us. May be meds or something else, but I refuse to believe it is not there and I pray you will find your “what helps”. I have been seeing some reports about “tapping”. Anyone have any experience or knowledge about this method of treating different maladies?

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@georgette12

I am trying to find a part time job. This is really a good way to maintain mental health, at least for me. I usually work in the helping field. I’ve found it rewarding even when working in alzheimer’s or hospice facilities, or with the developmentally disabled. I kind of seem to be able to work with people who are difficult to be around.

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I am glad you have that gift and are willing to share it. Seeing folks who may be in worse shape than you and being able to support them in any way is so very rewarding and eye opening. Please let us hear of some of your experiences either working or volunteering.

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@georgette12

I just subscribed. I am identifying with the concept of emotional safety.
Re volunteering. .. That saves me from really bad times because I am out of the house and helping others. I volunteer as much as possible. Currently as a crisis advocate for victims of domestic violence/sexual abuse. That’s usually the field I end up working in for volunteer. Mental health crisis, suicide. That is very weird because I have suffered all my life with mental health issues. I have not experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence, thank God. I do not find these jobs depressing although one would think I would.

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It is likely because you have personal experience that it does not have negative effects on you. I appreciate your willingness to take on the difficult task. My wife is a guidance counselor in a very low income elementary school and through years of experience, has learned to claim even the smallest victory to keep her sane and fulfilled. I came to the realization that I need to do the same because I am not likely to change anything world wide in my small circle. One reason I avoid the news most of the time because unless it is something where I can make a difference, I don’t need the negativity. I think I replied to another post, but we would love to hear you share some of your experiences.

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@gman007

I had not heard of tapping before but I did look it up on the internet and found this article,https://bebrainfit.com/tapping-anxiety-benefits/.

It appears to be like acupuncture, only you use your finger tips rather than needles. There are also some Youtube videos regarding this as well. TaiChi also uses tapping.

I would also be interested in knowing how many others have tried this.

Teresa

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@godsgirl1969

For those of you that read, The purpose driven life by Rick Warren is Awesome, and so is Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, both helpful and encouraging!

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@gman007

We read an Advent devotional online by John Piper, which was very good. My wife and I are reading a book by Philip Yancey about prayer. We’ve read a couple of other books by him that were lighter reading, but this one is a bit more on the scholarly side.

“The Happiness Trap” by Russ Harris. It’s a mindfulness based guide to ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. His ideas are good, but I find that many of the books about creating a meaningful life, etc., tend to be quite simplistic. If only life could be done by following an approved formula.

Jim

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@godsgirl1969

For those of you that read, The purpose driven life by Rick Warren is Awesome, and so is Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, both helpful and encouraging!

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I have read a couple of books by Yancey and enjoyed them. I am hard pressed to remember them right now. Unfortunately, I remember books as I read them and because of medications I take, not long afterwards. For a while I gave up reading books and would only read magazines, but I enjoy reading so much, I decided that the salient points would stick and I would enjoy the rest as I went. I don’t do well reading Piper, but love listening to his podcasts.

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@godsgirl1969

For those of you that read, The purpose driven life by Rick Warren is Awesome, and so is Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, both helpful and encouraging!

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@jimhd

Jim, you’ve mentioned some good books and authors. I agree that creating a meaningful life cannot be done by a simplistic formula – there is no “one size fits all” in this type of work. Thanks for that reminder!

Teresa

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@godsgirl1969

For those of you that read, The purpose driven life by Rick Warren is Awesome, and so is Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, both helpful and encouraging!

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@hopeful33250 So very true!

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