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Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

From Depression to Happiness - which non-drug solution worked for you?

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Old 11-27-2008, 07:21 AM   #16
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There's a really good book/CD's called "Feeling Good" by Dr. Burns....a friend had a dramatic improvement using the tools from this cognitive behavioral therapist. Another friend's pyschiatrist recommended it to her since she was adamant about not taking meds. My DH was really helped this past summer when he was experiencing anxiety attacks....I dug the CD's out of the basement and he really benefitted from them. Personally, they are a bit too logical for me....I prefer the Fluffy stuff! (but he is an engineer, so he prefered the logic!)

Personally for me, I found a ton of author's on Hay House radio (and it's free)that really help me, Debbie Ford, Caroline Myss, Sonia Choquette, Colette Baron-Reid, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Esther Hicks....including Louise Hay's "How To Heal Your Life." Oh, and Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron too!




I think it's important to know what resonates for you....if you are more Right-brained or Left-brained, different teachers will resonate.

Oh and thanks for the omega 3 tips...I have been taking fish oil tablets because I heard great things about them...didn't know thet helped the depression thing too!


It's good to connect!
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:12 PM   #17
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A combination of therapy and reading/working on books by myself helped.

Sleep was also a big factor. I used melatonin to help regulate myself. There's some support about lack of sleep and a link to depression.

I don't know if water is directly linked, but I do feel so much better now that I drink a fair amount regularly.

Journaling.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:11 PM   #18
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I have really awful side-effects from even pediatric doses of most medications including depression meds. My doctor suggested fish oil and it helped - not only with the depression but also with pain.
My best success with the whole depression thing was to distance myself from abusive people. I worked hard to overcome my shyness and learned to approach kind, friendly people. Just one or two dependable, supportive, fun friends can have a drastic effect on the quality of life.
Another helpful change I made was to monitor then change my "self talk".
For decades, I was not aware of the abusive and mean things I said to and about myself. Since I've stopped being my own biggest bully, life is much happier and I'm kinder to others, too.
Now I've just got to lose this weight!
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:38 PM   #19
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I have eliminated caffeine and stimulants from my diet.
I get at least 8 hours of sleep at night.
I exercise at least 5 times a week.
Talking openly about how I am feeling with my husband has also helped me tremendously. I used to be embarassed by how I was feeling but instead have found him to be my biggest cheerleader. Talking with my sister and a close friend has also helped me alot.

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Old 12-12-2008, 02:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkerbell View Post
There's a really good book/CD's called "Feeling Good" by Dr. Burns....a friend had a dramatic improvement using the tools from this cognitive behavioral therapist.

Personally for me, I found a ton of author's on Hay House radio (and it's free)that really help me, Debbie Ford, Caroline Myss, Sonia Choquette, Colette Baron-Reid, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Esther Hicks....including Louise Hay's "How To Heal Your Life." Oh, and Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron too!
Wow, so similar to what I have done.

I was on antidepressants for TEN years. I have been off them successfully now for ONE WHOLE YEAR!!!!

This is what has helped me:

1) The NUMBER ONE thing that has helped me is the phrase "it's a process". You can't expect to wake up and just be magically "okay". It's a process, and a process means WORK. You have to do stuff for yourself and take an active role in your health. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to do it. That is the first and foremost thing I recommend.

2) Self-help books. Louise Hay "How to heal your life", Dr. Burns "Feeling Good", there is an audio workshop by Allison Armstrong of PAX about dating/relationships that gives so much insight about why women and men are like they are, "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie are a few I recommend.

3) Psychologist/counseling/cognitive behavioral therapy. Yes, it's expensive, but where there's a will there's a way, you deserve it, and there's ways to find cheap counseling if you need a financial break.

4) Exercise and eating well. Of course this totally helps. I have also cut out food that I found out I was sensitive to which greatly changed my mood. Fish oil supplements will help too. Cut out caffeine if you have any anxiety problems off medication (or even on!).

5) Liver detox. After taking pills for so long, my poor liver was taxed. A liver detox cannot hurt you and will only help you.

6) Naturopathy. If you can afford it, i would highly recommend it. My naturopath has changed my life!

7) Get blood work. Figuring out that my iron level was making me dizzy and feel weird, whereas I attributed those symptoms to anxiety -once I realized those symptoms were really from iron deficiency, I realized I could handle my anxiety that way, just knowing the symptoms were from another source.

I wish everyone luck and please feel free to ask me any questions!!!
~CGH~

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Old 12-12-2008, 03:37 PM   #21
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I love the phrase:

"Happiness is an unintended side effect of doing the right thing."

I spent my life judging myself because I wasn't happy. Surprise, sometimes we just aren't. I lost 3 grandparents, an aunt, an uncle, and my mother within 18 months. Depression was a normal reaction.
But I started giving of myself and my time, and it helped. Heck, anything that helped me to not think about me and my life helped.
And, one day, I woke up and I was smiling. I kept on doing the right things, and I attracted people to me who liked my positiveness, and gradually, one day I was happy.

Hardest thing I ever did.

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Old 12-26-2008, 04:15 PM   #22
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Really good advice here ~ I will just second or list the ones that helped me get thru anxiety I had after getting really sick a few years back; and like SUE, lost many family and friends; and both my furry babies within 3 weeks this year (we had them 14 & 15 years): loved them so much ...

1) my faith in GOD and Jesus my number one help.
2) meditate on Positive Bible scriptures; saying them aloud and much positive self-talk and sayings, etc.
3) stopped watching TV and listening to ANY and ALL NEWS CASTS (watch videos and dvds of our choice now); only positive stuff now. I started wearing ear plugs if DH is watching or listening to something I don't like.
4) read positive, life affirming stories and articles, and books only!
5) stopped hanging with negative and critical people was major; I would rather have only 1 or 2 positive, kind friends instead.
6) changed my eating habits: cut my coffee intake down to two cups a day.
7) listening to serene music, like instrumentals
8) writing poems and songs; and singing
9) going for walks with my furry baby (s) or alone
10) soaking up the sun whenever I can
11) taking vitamins (esp B vitamin complex) with minerals
12) coming on 3fc's and meeting friends who have like interests & challenges; and joined 3 online prayer groups where we pray for each other.
13) getting more sleep: staying in bed another 30-50 minutes; putting my feet up and resting more, like the doctor ordered and not feeling guilty about it anymore.
14) I am learning to turn down invites that I just don't want to or don't feel up to meeting.
15) asking for help, esp from my DH
16) got another furry baby; will always have one ...
17) doing puzzles, learned to play the piano, doing more things I like to do.

PS ~ I am really feeling much better theses days; we just moved and that was very stressful. Just dealing with residue pain issues and trying to get lots of rest this winter. Gee, so many people recommending those fish oil supplements; maybe should try that too.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:08 PM   #23
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That reminded me that I forgot something:

Taking action.

I do read the newspaper. It can sometimes be depressing, but I also think it's an opportunity to feel good. other than the stories that make you feel good. Pick something and do something to make that situation better. Animal shelter not have enough volunteers? Spend a bit helping there. Someone sick from a disease? Send them a card (you can often find addresses in the phone book). It's a way of feeling like the world isn't so big and bad and unmanageable.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:48 PM   #24
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I had a bad bad reaction to antidepressants all of them and after 4 years my shrink in 1998 finally put me on St Johns Wort and it worked miracles....1 year later i cannot tell you how I changed for the better.
10 years later I have never had to take another pill besides the Wort
Therapy and walking , spirituality they all help my life..And if I have become down again back to the Wort I go
Peace
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:06 AM   #25
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"Depression to Happiness"..that title motivates me to write about thinking styles and expectations.

Oftentimes, people arn't EITHER depressed OR happy. Mostly, humans go up and down and down and up, even staying down for a week or whatever is totally normal.

Also, very few people are consistently happy. What does happiness mean to you, precisely? Are you shooting too high or too low? Do you think its normal to feel down, and for how long at a time?

I don't feel I have absolute answers to these questions, they are going to differ from person to person. I will say that I don't have a lot of time for depression-as-disease theory. It's a nasty, common, long-drawn-out emotion that is very crippling. Sleep has a lot to do with it, as does a person's (non) coping style.

There isn't any solid evidence as to a "depressive gene" either. Even in identical twins, environment plays a sizeable role how they turn out.

I don't like recommending books, but reading up on the Human Givens Approach will be helpful, and recent psychology textbooks at degree level or higher.

Just my two cents as a psych student and a depressive for several years.

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Old 12-28-2008, 01:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CousinRockingChair View Post

Also, very few people are consistently happy. What does happiness mean to you, precisely? Are you shooting too high or too low? Do you think its normal to feel down, and for how long at a time?
Good point CousinRockingChair

Part of depressive thinking is a "black and white" sort of thought pattern. Many of us don't understand that there is a middle ground that is comfortable to be at. Our brain is so used to feeling the highs and lows that we become addicted to that feeling, hence the cycle of depression.

~CGH~
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:10 PM   #27
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My last big depression lasted 4+ years (2002-2006). I took Zoloft for about 3 weeks and only felt side effects so I stopped.

Here's what helped me:

1. Journaling. In my most depressed days, I would journal 10+ pages a day. When I felt more calm, I would go back and read it. It was so insightful, it was like I could see what was going on in my worst times, a time that's normally very hard to process. Journaling helps me tremendously.

2. Support group. I'm one who thrives in the company of others. When I was depressed, I would binge and wallow in my alone time. I move around a lot and while moving can sometimes help someone in a depression, it may also make them worse. In two cases during those 4 years, I felt worse. In 2006, I moved to Minneapolis, where I had friends, I knew many people who lived one hour away and my family lived 2 hours away. Minneapolis also had so many like-minded people, interesting events always going on. I could see my family, I could see my friends, there were things going on... the environment was very conducive to being active, and consequently, I had less time to focus on (ie worsen) my depression. My alone time was more for recharging instead of self-abuse.

I've felt slightly depressed in Korea, I have had a hard time making friends and the language barrier doesn't show me a lot of things to do. If I didn't have my boyfriend here 24/7 (which is at times a blessing AND a curse), I'm sure I would be in a full-on depression.

3. Self-help books. Boy, was I embarrassed to have anyone see I owned these. But it helps tremendously. Having someone say what you having been thinking in your depression is so powerful. Depression makes you feel isolated, like there's something wrong with you and only you. Even if you don't want to spend the money on self help books, Google some of your thoughts and find articles online about it. Almost every depressed thought I've had, I can find some article online addressing that issue.

4. Spirituality. The start of my depression caused me to leave the church. Suddenly God as I knew him didn't make sense anymore. But I never felt there was no God and so I spent a lot of time looking into other spiritual ways of thought. A book that helped me was Conversations with God. Unfortunately, spirituality is very fluid with me... when I was young, the Bible meant a lot to me and now it does not. Then CWG meant a lot to me and now it does not.

But I just think that focusing on an idea that greater than yourself can really help with depression.

Andrew Weil wrote that depression is creativity energy turned inward--kind of like inside out. Inside of trying to squash or diminish the energy, you need to funnel it back outwards somehow.

I also highly recommend his books. He is an MD as well as a naturopathic healer. I have many of his books and consider him a great authority on natural healing. However, I had a difficult time finding some of his recommendations of healing herbs and I used to work in a natural foods store.

Good luck! It seems so many people have given you a lot of information. You have a lot of resources now to experiment with.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:22 PM   #28
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Having been depressed in the past, there is definitely a difference between depressed and happy. To me, "happy" doesn't mean you're always happy. But it does mean that the overall emotional existence is higher. That's what I took the thread to be about.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:25 AM   #29
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Oh I think I mainly agree, but I wanted to point out that there is a huge continuum, and a lot of people engage in unhelpful black and white thinking.

It'd be interesting to see if there has been a difference over the years in what people believe they are entitled to, happiness wise, as our material standard of living has increased. Might be all relative.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:33 PM   #30
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My boyfriend broke up with me 4 weeks ago during final weeks and I found out he was seeing this other girl and now is married to her. I could of killed him.

I was numb for a few days, but I am thankful that I had my friends. I usually like to be alone when I am depressed, but my friends would not allow it. I am blessed to have them in my life right now. I played a lot of video games and had to study for finals. I really did not have a chance to think about the break up until my finals were over on December 12th and by that time I was over it lol. So I guess next time something huge happens, I will stay busy.

Also I started talking to complete strangers about my issue lol. It sounds funny, but wow did it help to talk to someone else besides a friend or family member.

My whole family suffers from depression, but no one takes medication because of this stigma attached to it. I guess my family fears if they take medication it will haunt them in the future.

If anyone ever wants to talk , just message me I will lend you my ear

Last edited by Sarah Mac : 12-29-2008 at 07:34 PM.
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