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Beating Depression-Pace Yourself

By Edited Jan 16, 2014 1 16

I am beating depression, but too slowly. I am frustrated and annoyed with myself at performing below par mentally and need to get better faster than I am. My SSRI medication was increased because I was making no further progress on the lower levels after three months.

Most days I take things slowly and do not put myself under any pressure and this is certainly a better approach than trying to force the pace of my recovery.

Yesterday was a bad day. It was my first day on the increased medication levels and perhaps that contributed, but the meds are supposed to make me feel better, not worse.

It was mid afternoon and I had had to go shopping because a friend had let me down. If I am going on one errand I always try to fit in as much as possible, so instead of just going to buy a crusty loaf of bread I had to do the week’s shopping, call to the post office and two banks.

After an hour I realised I was overdoing it. My brain just stopped working. It was as though I was in the early stages of dementia and could not hold the simplest thought together. I could not make the simplest of decisions without making a phone call for help, even down to what kind of crusty bread to buy.

This was very frightening.

At the time I put it down to just having a bad day. Things became worse when I arrived home with all the bags. I could not even face unpacking them. It did not help that I was dehydrated at the same time. After three cups of tea I put the shopping away and settled down for a nap. I woke up two hours later.

I could not face the family gathering in the kitchen, so just went upstairs to lie on the bed with a book.

After two hours the party was over and I could come down. I was back to ‘normal’ again.

On analysing my day I realised that I had just lost control of it and done too much. I had received a phone call early in the morning to pick up a grandson from school in the city, so had had to fight my way through the traffic. That on its own, I could have coped with, but I had the shopping trip in the afternoon as well.

From here on I will keep my days more focused and stick to my plans. I sometimes think I am not ill at all because depression has no physical symptoms and my mental processes have improved so much since the early days. What I have to realise is that there is a long way to go and not to try too hard to rush things along, to pace myself.

Trying to force the pace will only set me back, so I have to take things more slowly than I would like to, or my total recovery from depression will take longer.

I am beating depression, but too slowly. I am frustrated and annoyed with myself at performing below par mentally and need to get better faster than I am. My SSRI medication was increased because I was making no further progress on the lower levels after three months.

Most days I take things slowly and do not put myself under any pressure and this is certainly a better approach than trying to force the pace of my recovery.

Yesterday was a bad day. It was my first day on the increased medication levels and perhaps that contributed, but the meds are supposed to make me feel better, not worse.

It was mid afternoon and I had had to go shopping because a friend had let me down. If I am going on one errand I always try to fit in as much as possible, so instead of just going to buy a crusty loaf of bread I had to do the week’s shopping, call to the post office and two banks.

After an hour I realised I was overdoing it. My brain just stopped working. It was as though I was in the early stages of dementia and could not hold the simplest thought together. I could not make the simplest of decisions without making a phone call for help, even down to what kind of crusty bread to buy.

This was very frightening.

At the time I put it down to just having a bad day. Things became worse when I arrived home with all the bags. I could not even face unpacking them. It did not help that I was dehydrated at the same time. After three cups of tea I put the shopping away and settled down for a nap. I woke up two hours later.

I could not face the family gathering in the kitchen, so just went upstairs to lie on the bed with a book.

After two hours the party was over and I could come down. I was back to ‘normal’ again.

On analysing my day I realised that I had just lost control of it and done too much. I had received a phone call early in the morning to pick up a grandson from school in the city, so had had to fight my way through the traffic. That on its own, I could have coped with, but I had the shopping trip in the afternoon as well.

From here on I will keep my days more focused and stick to my plans. I sometimes think I am not ill at all because there are no physical symptoms and my mental processes have improved so much since the early days. What I have to realise is that there is a long way to go and not to try too hard to rush things along, to pace myself.

Trying to force the pace will only set me back, so I have to take things more slowly than I would like to, or my total recovery from depression will take longer.

 

I am beating depression, but too slowly. I am frustrated and annoyed with myself at performing below par mentally and need to get better faster than I am. My SSRI medication was increased because I was making no further progress on the lower levels after three months.

Most days I take things slowly and do not put myself under any pressure and this is certainly a better approach than trying to force the pace of my recovery.

Yesterday was a bad day. It was my first day on the increased medication levels and perhaps that contributed, but the meds are supposed to make me feel better, not worse.

It was mid afternoon and I had had to go shopping because a friend had let me down. If I am going on one errand I always try to fit in as much as possible, so instead of just going to buy a crusty loaf of bread I had to do the week’s shopping, call to the post office and two banks.

After an hour I realised I was overdoing it. My brain just stopped working. It was as though I was in the early stages of dementia and could not hold the simplest thought together. I could not make the simplest of decisions without making a phone call for help, even down to what kind of crusty bread to buy.

This was very frightening.

At the time I put it down to just having a bad day. Things became worse when I arrived home with all the bags. I could not even face unpacking them. It did not help that I was dehydrated at the same time. After three cups of tea I put the shopping away and settled down for a nap. I woke up two hours later.

I could not face the family gathering in the kitchen, so just went upstairs to lie on the bed with a book.

After two hours the party was over and I could come down. I was back to ‘normal’ again.

On analysing my day I realised that I had just lost control of it and done too much. I had received a phone call early in the morning to pick up a grandson from school in the city, so had had to fight my way through the traffic. That on its own, I could have coped with, but I had the shopping trip in the afternoon as well.

From here on I will keep my days more focused and stick to my plans. I sometimes think I am not ill at all because there are no physical symptoms and my mental processes have improved so much since the early days. What I have to realise is that there is a long way to go and not to try too hard to rush things along, to pace myself.

Trying to force the pace will only set me back, so I have to take things more slowly than I would like to, or my total recovery from depression will take longer.

 


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Comments

May 11, 2011 8:44pm
jpwriter
Don't give up. I'm glad you're writing about it. I truly believe that writing saves lives. I've struggled with severe depression since I was a kid and taken many different types of medications.

It's very probable a dose increase can make you feel worse until your brain/body adapts to its new dose, especially SSRI medications. I start, increase, and taper way slower than recommended to minimize side effects. I have an IB article about SSRI discontinuation syndrome that might interest you.

Sometimes people with underlying anxiety disorders have a harder time with SSRI/SNRI medications. My (unsolicited) advice is always go a bit slower than the doc recommends. In the US, it always seems like there's one starting dose, and little consideration for biological differences. Oh how I've bumped heads w/doctors!

I'd challenge you a bit on the physical symptoms of depression. When people dig deep enough the physical symptoms are usually there although attributed to other things, even if they're minimal symptoms.

Taking things slow is an excellent part of self-care. Only you know your progress. Take care.
May 12, 2011 1:42am
Philtrate
Thanks JP. I will take what you say on board. I started off on minimum dose and am only increasing it one step at a time, so maybe doctors in Ireland work differently. I do find that writing about it helps ME and hopefully it will help others who read it.
May 12, 2011 7:41am
JudyE
I don't have much knowledge about depression so I found your article really interesting. I hope things get better for you soon.
May 12, 2011 8:24am
Philtrate
Thankyou Gooby. Thank you.
May 12, 2011 9:12am
Deborah-Diane
Writing, or journaling, is a well-respected way of dealing with stress, depression and anxiety. I know that it can take a few weeks before you can see the improvement from anti-depressants. One of daughters takes them. However, the anti-depressants, combined with a little gentle exercising and fresh air, will gradually help you feel better ... at least that worked for our daughter. You'll be in by thoughts.
May 12, 2011 9:39am
nbcontributor
You may want to check with your doctor as to whether other kinds of anti-depressants would be better from you. I know, having watched a loved one tackle depression, that one kind of medication was absolutely horrible, and another kind worked really well when he switched to it.
May 12, 2011 11:46am
Philtrate
Thanks nb. I did wonder, but I have come a long way. I have to see the doc again next week. I will talk to him about it.
May 12, 2011 11:44am
Philtrate
Thanks for your support Deborah. It's good to know there are people like you out there shouting for me
May 12, 2011 4:18pm
mommymommymommy
Phil, thank you for sharing this. I know that by sharing your story, you are helping yourself as well as others. Listen to your body. Focus on YOU getting better. Since you know that doing too much triggers symptoms, do everything you can to promote that behavior until it becomes second nature.
May 12, 2011 4:38pm
Philtrate
Thanks Mommy. This was the first time I had felt able to do so much, I guess I was wrong this time. I am consciously doing less and chilling when I need to.
May 13, 2011 12:47pm
BlogMakesMoney
I found your article very interesting.
May 13, 2011 12:49pm
Philtrate
Thankyou
May 31, 2011 8:33pm
DarleneMcFarlene
Never give up. I am proof that you CAN beat depression. It isn't easy and you will have setbacks but you can do it. (hug)
Jun 1, 2011 2:03am
Philtrate
Thankyou Darlene
Feb 11, 2012 12:03pm
tblester
I know well the tight grips of depression too. It's hard, but with constant stride, pace, and pursuit--you'll see light and joy one day at a time. You can do it!
Feb 11, 2012 12:45pm
Philtrate
Thanks tblester. Actually I woke up today feeing suddenly way better, like better than I have since autumn 2010...Hopefully that's it beaten...
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