I have found it very frustrating to look up ways of coping for depression. Just as for anxiety much of it seems totally irrelevant or to be written by somebody who has never had it.
- For depression they tell you to meet people talk to people and be with people. Oops I am a weird loner and know virtually no one due to lifelong social anxiety which is the main cause of all my depression in the first place.When I sometimes tried to befriend someone at work I was often turned down as the other person didn’t like me as I was socially awkward, weird, not normal. I found this deeply humiliating which massively increased my avoidance.
- Next is exercise. Yes I’ve done that. I used to walk 3-5 hours for 3 days a week and 1-2 hours on the other days, almost every week of every month for about 10 years. Did it help? Sometimes but no more than for a couple of hours afterwards and the problems are always still there at the end so the depression returns relentlessly. I also live in a city so hate walking in the city as there are no nice walks and lots of potentially nasty people. I am way more lethargic now too and ache quite a bit. Could be due to suspected diabetes but also to having a chronic hip condition for 20 years and other joint problems which all doctors failed to diagnose properly or treat.
- Food? Yes I am eating healthier and have tried to cut down on sugar intake. However, I still drink almost every evening and consume about 23-30 units of alcohol per week. When I drink nothing I just get far more anxious and feel desperate, cant concentrate and think about suicide.
- Better Sleep? I had chronic insomnia and sleep problems going back 20 years due to any noise so as mentioned I use ear plugs and ear protectors and even sleeping tablets I bought off Amazon that they don’t even sell in the UK I have daily bad dreams about death, my late dying mother or my last workplace when things went wrong but I sometimes still feel good when I wake up. Then almost every day I get worse as the day goes on. However, I often have to pee many times a night and drink 2-3 pints of water which is why I think I have diabetes. However all insomnia advice ignores where you live and that you cant move unless you win the lottery so the advice is limited.
- Occupy the mind. During the day keeping busy can help for short periods by doing housework and gardening but as usual it doesn’t last long. And apart from medication there is nothing else. I think I am depressed because my life is so f**ked up. How do I cure that at my age? Oh yes, get out more and meet new people. The trouble is I am negative and depressed so no one would want to know me anyway.
I also find it quite contradictory that I have read recently not to be so hard on yourself and at the same time for anxiety reading everything is your own fault for not trying enough, doing enough and not taking personal responsibility so trying t make you feel guilty.Confusing, isn’t it?
My holiday finished three weeks ago now. It went mostly OK I suppose. At least I tried and it broke up the monotony of everyday life. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do with anxiety, keep trying new stuff, exposure therapy, feel the fear and maybe F**k up anyway. I never really felt that comfortable and after day one felt so awkward as to want to leave but it subsided. As mentioned in my previous post I still had bad moments later on mainly due to chronic nerves coming from my subconscious and my speaking ability being quite poor. In fact thinking of something to say is just a minor part of my social anxiety madness. Being able to make my thoughts known in coherent sentences when my mind conspires with my jaw,mouth and voice box to often produce some kind of noises only vaguely recognisable as the English language is still a major problem.
Never mind I suppose this is how the advice advocates recovery. Keep trying stuff, doing stuff until you get used to it and climbing that anxiety mountain. Of course the only problem is that I go back to near isolation at home again for weeks on end and as expected after a few days the anxiety and feelings of depression resume. On the odd good days I dont think about suicide. On the bad days I punch myself in the head and drink heavily. At least my sleep has been somewhat better although I still have to push wax plugs in my ears and have a workman’s ear protector over one or both ears and which are held on by tying an old sweatshirt around my head. Yes, more madness. I still might go and see the doctor again about my suspected diabetes. if I go and he’s not related to Adolf Hitler like my previous one I may even one day have the courage to mention my lifelong anxiety problems.
I got on the train quickly just thankful to get a seat. First my bus to the station was 10 minutes late meaning I had missed my train by about 1 minute. Then after 1 hour of loitering around the station with heavy luggage looking for working toilets my next train was 15 minutes late increasing my anxiety and annoyance even further. Why on earth are UK trains so unpunctual, expensive and generally crappy? You would never believe they the railways were invented here!
I sat at a table seat as it was the first one I found unreserved and had to take the aisle as someone was sitting on the opposite side against the window. I was facing the wrong way as all the seats in front were facing me so I had to avoid eye contact for the hour journey home. Even worse four of them were young women; probably students form some local university. Of course that makes me even more uncomfortable as I feel like a dirty perv if I so much as even look in their general direction.
However on the next table there was another man similar age to me. Unlike me he was very talkative and immediately started chatting to a young woman opposite him like she was a friend. He even asked her to help him with some computer problem and got his laptop out to show her. Rather than be uncomfortable herself the girl was polite, friendly and keen to help him or that was the way it seemed. Oh to have the confidence of someone like him. To just be able to talk to complete strangers and put them at ease. Although I know its negative I just know that if I tried talking to a stranger like that as some CBT therapy wants you to do I would get a stroppy, aggressive and nasty girl who would probably tell me to F**k off. It’s easy to be this negative when so little positive has happened in the past. In fact it’s not just easy, it’s normal and natural.
I survived the holiday which I mentioned in my previous post and I’ll probably post more about that later. However my biggest disappointment was that when I often forced myself to try and make chat it was harder than expected. It was not because of the other people who were good and nice or even not knowing what to talk about. It was my voice. It brought back the memories of my youth and the problems that I had. My voice became weak, I struggled to be heard. It’s more than that though, it’s as if my jaw aches and I physically struggle to make conversation for long and it really knocks my confidence which makes me more avoidant. Even my head hurts. It must be because of anxiety as it is not a problem with people I know although I have always struggled to be heard when there is any other background noise. I would sometimes love to have the deep voice of a famous actor. Carson from Downton Abbey has just come on the TV. He has a great voice. Little things like this all add up.