Self-help from a person whose experienced it for years

Depression and anxiety can be one horrible thing to go through. Questioning yourself, putting yourself down, self-sabotaging. You want to help yourself, but the other half of you doesn't and will fight you if you try. Because I've been through it all a lot over the years, I understand it can be a constant battle but have… Continue readingDepression and anxiety can be one horrible thing to go through. Questioning yourself, putting yourself down, self-sabotaging. You want to help yourself, but the other half of you doesn't and will fight you if you try. Because I've been through it all a lot over the years, I understand it can be a constant battle but have picked up techniques to help.

Feelings Of Helplessness/Hopelessness
You feel absolutely useless, worse than anybody else. Nobody could possibly mess up as much as you, right? WRONG. There are many people, just like you struggling through their own problems. Don’t measure yourself against others. Some people are good at putting on an air of success, happiness and confidence, it doesn't mean they are. Most show the world what they want them to see. You're awesome! And you need to tell yourself that a hell of a lot more.

You have 2 sides of your mind. You’re conscious and you’re subconscious. The conscious is the voice in your head telling yourself that you're useless, it feeds your subconscious with whatever you allow it to. The subconscious can be more powerful. Your subconscious is where your actions tend to manifest themselves. So the best way of fighting this is to remember the "voice in your head". We all talk to ourselves whether we realise it or not. Keep telling yourself you're useless, and your subconscious will believe it and manifest it in your life. But if you become more aware of these "voices" or thoughts then you're already on the way to helping yourself. Every time any negativity pops up, you need to pounce on that bad lad before your subconscious gets to it. Tell yourself “NO!” and Combat it with some pre-planned positive thoughts.

If you don't believe it, don’t worry, originally it’s about thinking it anyway. Say it out loud. Write it down. Look at it and think it CONSTANTLY.

Loss of Interest In Daily Activities
You wake up in the morning and just can’t be bothered to interact or do anything. But we both know it’s not good for you. And you aren’t going to let it beat you.

If you went to climb a mountain, you’re aware you're not superman and can't just jump to the top. Don't expect too much from yourself from day one. A doctor once told my dad when he was suffering with depression, "even if you just clean a cup that day, do it, do it well and be happy you've done it". So even if you just get up and do something small, if it’s more than you would have done, its progress. Set your own "tiny targets" to begin with, and each thing you achieve, be proud, its progress! Well done you! I hope you've got long arms because you need to pat yourself on the back. YOU'RE AWESOME! Eventually your subconscious believes whatever you tell it, the same way liars can convince themselves that they're telling the truth, only you will be!

Appetite And Weight Changes
One that I personally am struggling with the most at the moment. No appetite most of the time, so don't eat as much as I should. For some it will be the opposite. It is very common when you're low for your appetite to change. You're not alone but don't allow this to go on long term because your health will suffer.
If you're losing weight and have no appetite, try to have something small, not long after waking up. This should help your appetite later on in the day. If it doesn't, go for more manageable meals and commit to getting through what you're eating. Exercise could help build your appetite so by all means do some sports, but not too much if you’re calorie intake is low. If you're eating too much, don't beat yourself up about it, it just leads to a circle of destruction. Look at what you're eating and see if there are healthier versions of that product or replace it with something else that you like and is better for you. Keep good food in the house. The harder it is to get to, the less likely you are to have it. Same as before exercise can also help with weight, physical and mental health.

Sleep Changes
You’ve barely slept, and it’s affecting your mood, energy, appetite etc. Exercise again can help, but make sure it's a while before bed and quite strenuous if you can. Try not to eat for the last few hours before bed, definitely nothing sugary or with too many carbohydrates. Try not to think you NEED to sleep, it will just anger you and turn the whole process into something you associate with negative connotations. Worrying does nothing.
For at least an hour before bed, make sure your alarms are set and you've said your good-nights to people. Now PUT THAT PHONE AWAY! Turn the TV off. Maybe play a motivational podcast, audio book or some chilled music and make sure the bedroom is a nice temperature. White noise apps can be great.

Anger Or Irritability
It can jeopardize a lot and you don't tend to always realise how you're acting or the damage is done. Most people will understand if you explain to them when you're calm and apologise. Once anger is there, it's usually too late and emotions can take over. Try and recognise when you're starting to feel flustered. If you feel it building, try to get out the situation, even temporarily or put something into place that you know calms you down. Whether it's breathing exercises, stress ball, an image in your head, you need to start counteracting it before it reaches terminal velocity. It will also dissipate quicker because you've caught it early. While it’s an issue, cut down caffeine and high levels of sugar as they can give you big highs and lows mentally and physically.

Loss Of Energy
For some people chucking on their favourite energetic song can help. Or motivational video. But exercise again can be your friend. Now, I get it "no energy and you're telling me to do exercise, get lost!” But if you force yourself to do 10/15 minutes it can make a major difference. I was in a bad place a few years ago and the gym was my absolute saviour then. Because you start hitting targets, you finally start to believe you can achieve more in other parts of your life too. Make sure you’re eating good food and enough, you're sleeping enough and if not then focus on this first.

Self Loathing
You hate yourself! Everything you touch turns to dirt. Does it really though? You're just in a negative spiral and need to regain control. How? You need to feed your mind the positive thoughts. The moment you notice that you're thinking negatively about yourself, you need to replace it with something positive. Anything at all that makes you proud and confident. Write the positives down in advance to come back to when you need them. Next time one of the negative thoughts comes along, get the ammo out and shoot it down. YOU’RE the boss here! And....YOU’RE AWESOME!

Reckless Behaviour
You’ve been feeding your subconscious for a long time with destructive and negative thoughts. Now, it’s manifesting itself like discussed earlier. The only way around this is to fight back, replace the thoughts and keep at it. Ask family and friends to help you notice this behaviour so you can work on it. Learn your triggers and when you feel it coming keep saying positive things to yourself, then they’ll plant in your mind. If you want them to stay there you have to keep at it.