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Successfully getting over depression by yourself - have you done it?

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    Has anyone ever had symptoms of mild or moderate depression and managed to find ways to overcome it by themselves? Ie, without the help of professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, etc). If so, what exactly did you do?
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    To be honest, I wouldnt say I have ever been depressed but have had times where I have felt SO down. These are stressful times in life when you feel everything is against you, the only way out for me was to talk to my sister. We are ridiculously close and unlike my friends she spotted that something was wrong and just chatted. Alone, I dont think is possible! You have to have someone to chat to, be it family, friends, doctor, `or psychologist.
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    You never completely get over depression, you can push it down but there's always a danger that it will come back.

    I'd say my depression is controlled at the moment and I didn't get any help after diagnosis. All I did was wait it out, it sucked but I knew it would pass eventually.
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    Ten years ago I suffered from depression for over a year. I didn't realised I had it, and it wasn't until I came out of it that I realised how low I had become.

    The breaking point came when my long term relationship ended and I decided that I would refuse to let anything hold me back anymore. I went online and bought three or four self help books, which completely changed my view of the world and helped me to change myself.

    I know it isn't as simple as that for a lot of people, but for me, it was a change of perspective that helped me. I needed someone/something to help me change the way I view and interpreted things around me.

    They say depression is like living under a cloud and I couldn't agree more. As my outlook began to change, it really felt like the clouds shifted and I was able to see the sun again.

    PinkyPurply is so right though - it is always lurking under the surface. If I ever feel that I am letting it wash over me I have to actively work to keep it away. So far so good though.
    #2

    On reflection, I think it is possible I have had mild depression in the past.

    My symptoms:

    I felt low.

    I felt tired.

    I was preoccupied with negative thoughts about myself. I was convinced that others disliked me, that I was unlikeable. I started to avoid interacting with others because I didn't want them to have to bear my company. I became preoccupied with listing (literally, writing a great long list) of my flaws and going over it. I felt very very bad about myself.

    I felt unreal, as though I had changed so much, that I wasn't really myself anymore. It's really hard to explain the thinking that was going on. I was thinking "why am I thinking these bad things, why am I feeling so low", and deciding it was a character flaw, that the feelings weren't real, that I was just attention seeking to myself? I then began to question my whole mind, sort of my whole thinking - until I felt unsure that my actual "self" was real? It didn't feel as though my thoughts and emotions were real, I sort of felt that they couldn't be trusted/ were a personality flaw. I felt very detached (but obviously wasn't!) from my emotions. I don't know how better to explain that! It wasn't a delusional belief, more a feeling.

    I was tearful and used to cry almost every day, often without reason. At first it was at night, trying to get to sleep. Then it started to happen during the day as well, which was difficult. I hid a lot, in order to cry!

    I had some odd behaviours. I tended to spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Sometimes just crying in there. I liked to run a sink of really cold water, and dip my face in it, hold my breath in the cold water. I really, have no idea how I came upon this but it was soothing. At first this was just for when something was really stressing me out, then I started to have to do it, almost every day. I also liked to spend time just sitting in silence, hiding somewhere, by myself, not doing anything or thinking about anything.

    At first I just couldn't get to sleep at night, then my sleep got more restless, and I would wake up several times during the early hours.

    I didn't eat as much and lost a lot of weight.

    I thought about suicide, a lot. But not seriously, no plans, no real intent.



    I'd always been prone to a bit of insecurity, getting low, thinking badly of myself. But it was sort of as bad as above for I'm not sure, 4-6 months? It was very insidious, very gradual. At the time, I didn't really think of depression at all - because I'd sort of had minor lows and variable self-esteem for a number of years. I guess it was so gradual I didn't really notice how much worse than normal it was.

    It has to be mild - because I still managed to meet my social/work obligations, and I was still able to concentrate, I was still able to enjoy some things, I still had some reprieve from it, some of them time. And I didn't really feel hopeless, had plans for the future and stuff.

    Whereas if you have moderate depression or worse, I don't think it is possible to cope. And I also don't think it will just go away.


    Mine did sort of just go away. Partly it just gradually stopped being quite as bad by itself, partly I had support from my bf, partly I made some effort to reward myself and feel good about myself. I think as well, maybe some stress in my family got a bit better.

    Only a long time after it, when I was feeling much better (eg: recently, now), and because I have been particularly learning about/focusing on mental illness in my course - did I think that actually, maybe I had depression.

    I wouldn't recommend just getting over it though. If I thought I was going to go there again, I would seek help. This is from being now outside of that experience and realising how blind I was, and from learning more about management of depression (which is not scary or embarassing, it's just good).

    I wasted months of my life being withdrawn, and sad, and not doing everything I could have done. And I think some of the thoughts I was preoccupied with could have had a permanent effect on my self esteem, and I have to still fight them sometimes. I was also irritable and distant from my family, and I wouldn't want to be like that to them again.

    If it is only minor depression - you might only need a short course of antidepressants to pull you out of it, or you might just need CBT (eg: thinking techniques). Or maybe just to know for sure, so that you can't torture yourself feeling guilty about how you feel.

    So basically, why do it by yourself - when you could do it quicker and better with a professional who is there to help you. And when also, you might risk it getting much worse, without you being in the state of mind to realise.

    Please go to the doc if you are worried OP x
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    I have been to the doctor but they're not really helping me very much. Just putting me on a very long waiting list for counselling and that's all. They even refused to give me anti depressants when I asked.

    Anyway, I think my depression is mostly circumstantial. I've always constantly run into negative people who alienate or bully me, have always been single and find it very hard to find a true friend. I sometimes feel like it's not even anything wrong with me, it's just other people who aren't very nice or appreciative of me, and so I'm forced to be alone. If it wasn't for these things then I'd probably be alright, so I need to find a way to either put myself into a situation where these are more likely to change, or just find something productive to massively distract me and occupy my time.
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I have been to the doctor but they're not really helping me very much. Just putting me on a very long waiting list for counselling and that's all. They even refused to give me anti depressants when I asked.

    Anyway, I think my depression is mostly circumstantial. I've always constantly run into negative people who alienate or bully me, have always been single and find it very hard to find a true friend. I sometimes feel like it's not even anything wrong with me, it's just other people who aren't very nice or appreciative of me, and so I'm forced to be alone. If it wasn't for these things then I'd probably be alright, so I need to find a way to either put myself into a situation where these are more likely to change, or just find something productive to massively distract me and occupy my time.
    Sorry to hear that.

    The doctor may be reluctant to give you antidepressants, if he/she believes that you have "reactive depression" (eg: caused by circumstances, not by a pervasive disorder of mood). Although, obviously they have failed to be sympathetic, or communicate this reasoning to you.

    It may not be their reasoning, just a guess!

    Given what you've said here, I would recommend:

    - Wait for the counselling (even if you get better before it happens, it could still be helpful to you)

    - Possibly see another GP (but I'm not sure they won't make exactly the same decisions, and they can't magically shorten the waiting list).

    - Try to change the circumstances which are making you feel down.

    - Console in/ talk with someone. Just anyone sympathetic. Even if you don't have a real-life friend, you can even use the internet to do this.

    - Research, buy and read a reputable self-help/ self-esteem book. They aren't all quack, there are good ones out there which can sort of act as CBT for you, and you can return to them again and again.

    - Avoid alcohol
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    I've had depression when I was about 15-16 and I didn't get any help because I was too scared and I didn't really know where to go. I got over it eventually and I was fine for about three years but then it came back again and I'm finally getting help.

    I'd definitely try another GP and see what they can do for you. I've had to switch GP a few times because they didn't take me seriously. Some of them just don't seem to know much about mental health while other know exactly what treatment you need. Wait for the counselling, there is always a long waiting list but you'll be glad when you get there eventually.
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    I tried to but it was quite hard since I really didn't know how to deal with my triggers and I would always relapse. Mind you this was for about 8 years on and off. Then earlier this year I decided to speak to someone. Ended up having CBT for 6 months and that really worked for me. Some people can work through it themselves with the resources available on the web/books but I found CBT was the best option for me. Do some research but ultimately it doesn't hurt to speak to a doctor that you're comfortable with
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    My depression was caused from smoking cannabis so once i had quit it felt like a purification process which definitely lifted my mood a little bit day by day. Another thing as stupid as it sounds to some is to just take a walk and look at how amazing nature and the natural world is and it just gives you a little bubble of positive thought that you can expand and expand. Nature might not float your boat but find something that you find or have found amazing before and immerse yourself in it.
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by i-sure-hope-so)
    Regarding changing circumstances/ environments, are you at uni yet?
    No. I was going to go, but then I got bad grades in my A Levels after finding them hard. I'm not sure if was because of the depression or because I'm just crap at academics (lots of people in my year did badly, so it wasn't just me). But I just don't feel like going to uni anymore. I think I'd be happier just working and then going travelling for a bit.

    Thanks for all your kind advice and thanks everyone else
    • Thread Starter
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    Anyone else?
    #3

    (Original post by WhyteBoar)
    Ten years ago I suffered from depression for over a year. I didn't realised I had it, and it wasn't until I came out of it that I realised how low I had become.

    The breaking point came when my long term relationship ended and I decided that I would refuse to let anything hold me back anymore. I went online and bought three or four self help books, which completely changed my view of the world and helped me to change myself.

    I know it isn't as simple as that for a lot of people, but for me, it was a change of perspective that helped me. I needed someone/something to help me change the way I view and interpreted things around me.

    They say depression is like living under a cloud and I couldn't agree more. As my outlook began to change, it really felt like the clouds shifted and I was able to see the sun again.

    PinkyPurply is so right though - it is always lurking under the surface. If I ever feel that I am letting it wash over me I have to actively work to keep it away. So far so good though.
    Would you mind sharing which books you found helpful please? There are so many out there...
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Has anyone ever had symptoms of mild or moderate depression and managed to find ways to overcome it by themselves? Ie, without the help of professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, etc). If so, what exactly did you do?
    Yes, well i'm in the process of doing it without any help, really I just take each day as it comes, i have a good cry at night, text myself :P usually the texts don't make sense though. I've always naturally kept myself to myself, only once have i broken down for seemingly no reason in public, i didn't go back to that class for a few weeks. Just find a good pillow to hug.

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Would you mind sharing which books you found helpful please? There are so many out there...
    Goodness, I'm not sure I can remember them. One was definitely The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people - this is good when you are trying to refocus your outlook on life and take control of the the things that bother you.

    The only other one I can remember is (don't laugh ) Self Matters by Dr Phil... I know it is a Dr Phil book (), but this is probably the one that connected with me the most - you will need to gloss over the little bits about God if you are an atheist like myself!

    I wouldn't say either are specifically self-help books for depression to be honest, but I knew at the time that I had to change the way I looked at my life, my self, and the way things happened around me. Everytime I thought something was going to turn out badly, and it did, it fed my negative feelings and make me feel justified in my sadness. I was completely unable to see anything good that happened; I would gloss over them, whilst at the same time, I would deconstruct the bad things and mourn what my life had become.

    The underlying message in both of these is: Change what you can change, and learn to accept the things you cannot.

    I still repeat this to myself all the time; for me, it is very important to remember as I go through life.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Has anyone ever had symptoms of mild or moderate depression and managed to find ways to overcome it by themselves? Ie, without the help of professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, etc). If so, what exactly did you do?
    I don't think a lot of the people in this thread actually understand what depression is....

    A lot of people are depressed and don't know it, they get through it by themselves and in the long run that's much healthier.

    I was depressed for the majority of the second year of uni and thought about seeing someone about it. At one point I even thought i was a psychopath lol!

    You will get through it on your own, just remember, life isn't supposed to be easy and there's no point being a whiny lil f*ggot... Just start doing things to improve you and your life and you will get through it whithin a few months. Start cooking and eating healthier, work out and get fit, actually bother studying for a few hours at a time, read books and socialise with people.

    oh and look at lots of courage wolf and insanity wolf memes
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    yep. Look for the truth. Truth = reality = life. The closer you are to life the further you are from mind-made reality which equals depression.
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    I got over my depression with the help of antidepressants, but I feel what helped me the most was regular exercise and talking to my friends about it. Exercise is a wierd one, I came back from a run and felt on top of the world for the rest of that day.
    #4

    What i am going to say, may sound really pathetic, but it all happened. TLDR is at the bottom if you don't want to read my life story. Sorry for the long post also.

    I have had mild/moderate depression in the past, when i was in high school, but it might have just been stress as my life was at a low point.
    I lost all my friends, was bullied for a while, poor preformance at school, my dad was in hospital. It felt like everything was going wrong, and i just gave up all hope. I lost all my confidence, I was emotionally unstable for a very long time, i turned hateful towards everyone and everything. I would get angry at the slightest things, i could never sleep, i was tired all the time, i was miserable all the time, I was a different person. I went from having a decent social life, to absolutely none. I cut off all my friends, i just wanted to be alone.

    All i did was play games all day everyday, I replaced living with playing games, it was my method of escaping reality, and it really did help, i felt as if i didn't need anything else, i just lived to play stupid games. I wasted a year of my life, playing WoW, when things could have been so different if i had only seeked counseling when things started going wrong, Even now, a year after (feels like forever ago, so much has changed) I wish i could go back in time, and get that help i needed, things could have been so much different.

    When i gave up World of warcraft, i finally realised how much of a state i made out of my life. My only friends were in Wow, my only fun was Wow, my only life was Wow, i basically lived to play the game. As pathetic as that sounds. And when i quit, i felt empty, and i reflected on my life, my friends i used to have, the life i used to live, the girl i used to love, the things i used to enjoy.. And i realized that i had ****ed up big time. My whole world came crashing down, i couldn't believe it, but i let a game took over my life...

    One year of my life down the ****ter.

    It could have been so different. I wish i seeked help, i wish i never took it out on my friends, I wish i told my first crush my feelings for her before she moved away, i wish i spent more time with my family, I wish i never quit road biking, i wish i tried harder in school earlier than i did.
    But because i couldn't cope with my life, and because i never opened up to anyone about my feelings, i never got help.
    I would cry myself to sleep nearly every night, and then it hit tipping point last may, i nearly attempted suicide. I was so filled with self hatred, sadness, and jelousy of everyone else who was happy. Only reason i am still here right now, is because when i went to do it, i backed out. It was only then i had realised how bad things had got, i sat there, and looked at my life, looked at all the people i loved, my family, and i remembered words my dad had told me when i was younger, "All i want from you, is to be happy. Because when you are happy, i am happy".

    I had a million thoughts racing through my mind, i thought of all the people i loved, all the things i cared for, i thought of my dad, who was in hospital at the time after having an operation, i was just overwhelmed with thoughts, and i just broke down and cried for what felt like forever. It was after that day, i decided i had to change.

    I was being bullied at school for a month, and i just ended it. Went up to the 'leader' of the bullies, and gave him a beating. I rarely get into fights, but sometimes it is necessary . He had to go home that day for concussion and a broken nose, bastard deserved it. And never again did he or any of his friends trouble me. Or even talk to me again. It was quite funny really, just shows that bullies are only strong when the victim doesn't react. Luckily i didn't get into trouble at school, the teachers didn't even know, was a lucky escape as i was already in trouble in school.

    But it was after they were dealt with, things only started to improve.. I took each day one at a time, and worked on one problem at a time. My dad came out of hospital, and was out of a wheelchair, My grades improved, went from E's and F's to B's and high C's. I am awaiting my results next month, which i am hoping to have achieved B's or higher. My social life improved, i started going out more, and made a new group of friends. I started cycling, which i quit before, and i love it. Everything else is falling into place. But depression never leaves, my life is great right now, but i do get times where i feel low, but i remind myself of that day, and what my dad said to me. You know what they say, things can only get better, and for me it did. My dads words drive me on, to live the happy life everyone deserves to live.

    If you ever think you are depressed, talk to someone! i wish i did.

    TLDR: My life was ****, i attempted suicide, backed out, realised i had change, and did.

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