When we feel depressed, we can feel like we are broken, that there's something wrong with me. Depression sucks out our energy and we start to think negatively about our lives. We end up experiencing negative thoughts, and our perspective on life can be very negative as well. It starts to interfere with our day-to-day functioning and can also impact our relationships with ourself and our family and friends including romantic partners.
I know that you've mentioned that you've been put on four different medications to treat what you've been experiencing. You feel like they've not helped you to feel better. We can't always rely on medications, because it's about balance in our lives. Medications may help us to feel a boost in our energy, but they do not clear our thoughts. It's about finding the skills and the techniques that are effective and helpful for aiding us in feeling better both emotionally/behaviorally. and to feel like we can improve with our functioning. A lot of it also comes back to the way that we talk to ourselves. When we stay consistent with a negative attitude or perspective it really takes a toll on the way that we feel emotionally and behaviorally. We can set ourselves up to fail with the way that we think about ourselves and our environment. If we take the time to acknowledge our negative thoughts or perceptions on ourself and our environment, we can influence the way that we feel and work towards changing our responses to situations and triggers.
You mentioned how you see how everyone else is, and how they don't react to things. The goal is to focus on responding to things rather than reacting to things. Everyone responds to things differently, some of us react and some of us respond. It's not necessarily that it's wrong, but there is a better way to manage situations and we just want to work towards developing a healthier way of responding to a situation.
A good way to help us respond to situations is called the stop method. It's a way to help us manage impulsivity, reactions, and is a mindfulness practice for stress that helps us come back to the present moment and gain perspective. It helps us to mitigate the negative effects of stress and instead see that we have the ability to control our response to the pressure of stress. The skill is used in an acronym called STOP.
STOP: when you feel stressed or overwhelmed and feel like reacting, stop and take a step back.
Take a few breaths: you want to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on allowing your body to fall into its natural rhythm of breathing.
Observe: you want to notice and be aware of where there is tension in your body and observe the thoughts and feelings in your mind. You don't want to judge what you're feeling or thinking, you just want to be simply aware of your experience in the moment and just let it be whatever it is.
Proceed: you wanna ask yourself what's important to pay attention to right now? What am I needing right now? You want to be able to move forward by acting on the answer to those questions.
This skill, just like any other skill or technique needs to be practiced consistently and continually to be able to utilize it when you need it the most. Practice is what makes permanent. If you don't practice the skill, you won't be able to utilize it when you need it. It won't come natural to you. Even if you can't get it down pat at first, focus on continuing to practice it because overtime it will be helpful for you. It also is very helpful for depression and anxiety.
The self worth and self-image are both parts of both depression anxiety and anxiety can be a part of depression. What that means, is that everything goes hand in hand with each other and integrates into one. So if we work on improving depression and anxiety, self worth and self-image will improve and if you work on self worth and self-image, depression will improve. It all comes together. I think that it's great that you're able to identify that you are a lovely person with ambitions and dreams and desires. You're able to see those strengths and traits within yourself. The way that you're feeling impacts your recognition of those strengths & traits though. It means that they are still there, but when you're not feeling so good, they become hidden and when you feel better they come back out. You have a hard time staying passionate based on the way that you're feeling, so if we can get you feeling better, you'll be able to develop more passion, more motivation, and more commitment to things.
When the depression and anxiety improve, our thoughts also improve. When you have these thoughts, focusing on what we call grounding techniques can help you detach from the current thought and bring you back to the present moment. Grounding techniques include: going for a short walk, 4-7-8 breathing, carrying a grounding object, focusing on meditation, muscle relaxation, etc. There is a lot of great grounding skills and they are very helpful for detaching from anxiety, depression to aide us and becoming more centered in the here and now. Also focusing on doing something that helps you to relax will also help to challenge and change the hurtful thoughts that you're experiencing. Listening to music, savoring a favorite food or beverage, going for a walk, just taking time to sit and relax can help you feel calmer and less distressed.
There is a lot of hope out there for you, even in times of hopelessness, there is hope even if it's hard to believe. We can get you to a point of being able to have and live a normal life, to be normal, to be good. Like I said, there are so many tools and strategies that can help you, and working together as a team we'll get you to that point. It may take time, but time is of the essence. Getting better is a process, which means that it takes time, practice, and consistency, but you can get there.
I appreciate you reaching out, and I hope that this is a helpful for you. You took that start with reaching out for help!