Over the last year or so I have become more open about my mental health issues. I was diagnosed bipolar depressed, and I have anxiety. And trust me, these things together are a nightmare. Dealing with only one of them is a nightmare. Some people can identify with one or the other, but will empathize with those who suffer with what they do not.
Lately, I’ve come across situations that increase my anxiety, and my depression levels are through the roof. Keeping a happy, smiling mask on all the time simply drains me. Trying to act like I’m happy when I’m not is draining. Of course I seek therapy, but let’s face it…your therapist isn’t there 24/7 to help you with problems. And we’re adults right? Or at least old enough to know better? Sometimes, you have to take it in your own hands. So, I’ve been doing some research on how to cope, and I’d like to share it with you. And because this field is ever changing, and you can’t always find the right answer that works for you…I’ll continue posting my findings.
My search today led me to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) website. I’m naive, so I didn’t know that existed until I came across it. It’s an extremely informative website. It gives you tips on how to cope and manage, it gives you help on finding a therapist and treatment, and a variety of other services they offer. There are even apps to download to help you! There are areas focused on just college students, or women, or even military members and families.
This link here gives you tips on how to manage anxiety and depression. It’s a great chart of things that may help you manage your depression and anxiety: https://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress
The website isn’t reserved for only anxiety and depression. It also extends to PTSD, OCD, suicide, etc. For someone who is just starting to look for information, it’s a good website.
A very good therapist of mine introduced me to a technique that could help during times that my anxiety and depression kick in. It’s called mindfulness. Now, you’re probably wondering what that is. You may even be wondering if it’s just meditation. Mindfulness is a kind of meditation. I’ve learned meditation doesn’t work for me. When I try to “clear my mind,” then the words “clear my mind” run across my brain in big, neon lights. So, if you’re like me meditation won’t work. Mindfulness, however, is more engaging. Instead of clearing your mind, you’re paying attention to what’s around you. You’re seeing objects around you, you’re hearing the sounds around you, you are paying attention to how things smell or feel…it puts yourself in the moment and away from your stress. The technique itself has been both positively and negatively spoken about in the psychology area, but it may be something worth trying out. Nothing works the same for every person that tries it.
This website can explain more, and it can provide more information if you are interested in trying this technique. There are YouTube videos available on YouTube, and you can simply google mindfulness and find a variety of different websites. http://www.mindful.org/
I hope some of this helps someone. Please, let me know if you find any of this helpful. Share your thoughts with me!