I need help badly. I'm severely depressed with a 1 yr old and another on the way. I'm willing to talk to someone (i think, id have to try) but I'm too cheap. Its a barrier on my marriage because my husband wants to see me get help but I'm not willing to pay to talk to someone . I dont know what suggestions you can give to help but its worth a shot I guess. Thanks
Asked by Jeremiah

Hello my name is Eric Velazquez-Sanchez and I am a Clinical Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I have been providing psychotherapy for 9 years. From what you wrote you are undergoing symptoms of depression and possibly money concerns. 

Being Gentle

In our process of self discovery and healing we may have a relapse. That is normal and okay. Recovery is never fully complete. It is a process that we may cope with for a long time. This is a difficult thing to accept and cope with. As humans we may begin to think: “Fuck this, this means that I will be doing this forever!” Thinking in this manner is thinking in absolutes. This does not help at all. It is healthier to think that as people who are growing, we learn new things daily and can challenge ourselves to overcome things and grow.

When a person struggles with addiction, they see themselves as struggling with an illness or allergy. This is something that the person copes with forever. Can you see your emotional health as something that will be a way of life forever?

When we as human beings are faced with the task of coping with emotional wounds or trauma, we may grow to a state of emotional healing that is greater than some in the rest of the population. We grow in awareness, mindfulness, and gratitude. We also grow in our emotional intelligence which is important if we are to have meaningful relationships. 

Distracting skills

Distracting skills are DBT techniques that can be used to soothe yourself when you are struggling with intense emotions. They can be different things to different people.

Here are a few I have heard:

Washing the dishes, dusting, doing laundry, a bubble bath, reading, listening to music, playing a musical instrument, speaking with friends, cooking, baking, going out for a walk, going out for a run, working out, yoga, tai chi, biking, going out for a swim, hiking, getting a massage, going out on a date, a road trip, taking a nap, doing your nails, make-up, shopping, completing a puzzle, video games, painting, gardening, watching television, going to the beach, watching a baseball game, etc.

What are some that you engage in?

Sometimes I try to help someone else and it can distract me from my issues for a while.


I cook for others, take them out, engage in conversation, shop, or listen to their needs or worries.

This reminds me that others are in need, that I can help others, and helps me engage socially with a person.

McKay, etal 2007 state that there are other ways to distract oneself from negative thoughts including: thought blocking, leaving a distressing situation, engaging in chores, counting, etc.

These are short term coping skills. Can you create a distraction plan for yourself when you are distressed? I will give you two examples below.

Let’s say that I am distressed because I got into a small car accident.

This would distress me because my car may have been damaged, I do not want anyone else harmed, I do not want my insurance payment to go up, I dislike this inconvenience.

I have a choice. I calm myself and make certain all is well. If the car is damaged but everyone is safe, I can cope with this and continue on my journey. The car will be fixed later. This is a combination of acceptance and reality testing.

I have to make a difficult decision based on work. For the past three months I have noticed that my job has negatively affected my health. I would like to take time for myself but am concerned about my finances. I am aware that I cannot make a decision presently or out of emotion, but I am feeling distressed.

I would take time to feel my emotions, speak to loved ones about my goals and see if they align with my current situation. I can accept that the process will take time and find ways to process my feelings, regulate my emotions, and make a good decision.

What are short term distraction skills?

Thought blocking, self talk, guided imagery, meditation.

What are moderate distraction skills?

Reality testing, thought reframing, a body scan, a guided meditation, doing the opposite of what you feel like doing, seeking safety.

Thought blocking is literally blocking the negative thoughts out of your mind with other distractions.

Self talk is talking to yourself in your head. It is speaking to yourself and trying to soothe yourself with positive thoughts.

Guided Imagery (to me) is guiding one’s mind to a serene place or memory.

Reality Testing is utilizing self talk to try and rationalize where the negative thoughts are coming from and also process the emotions in a positive manner.

What is your distraction plan?

What are you willing to do?

Created by: Eric Velazquez-Sanchez LMHC, NCC