What Depression Is

Sid

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Not just depression, but anxiety, insecurity, and self doubt.

Needing to be there for the one you love when they need your support, but being unable to be of any help because of your own miserable mental incapacities, and loathing yourself for it, leading to deeper depression and even less ability to be there for them. Continue reading

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Sid

Click to read Sid’s bio

When I finally started to not care about stigma and admit I had serious depression-like and anxiety-like stuff going on, I had little idea where the journey of treatment would take me.

Not surprisingly, it was the advice of a good friend future fiancée, herself a mental illness veteran, that got me going in the right direction. The right direction was cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  It sounded like just the thing I needed, and I pressed my at the time therapist to get our weekly sessions into the realm of actual CBT, instead of the patient-directed Q & A that had been the hallmark of our times together. Continue reading

Goals Are For Losers

DeeDee newTime flies, fun or not. A week, a month, a year simply…vanishes. I graduated a year ago, and it has taken most of that year to recover enough to think about next steps. Another job search, and probably moving. Continuing efforts to improve my health. Things like that.

But then my therapist (a.k.a. Hippie Dude) started asking about long-term goals, after discussing the issue of career choices for ages and getting nowhere. So goals might help, right? I gave it a try despite my doubts and made lists of “goals” for various part of my life. Continue reading

Craving a Different Energy

vivien This past Tuesday, a lovely woman named Sarah reached out to me over e-mail.  Sarah, like me, is a US ex-pat trying to find her way in Europe.  And, she has bipolar disorder.  One of the topics we spoke about was whether there was any longing on my part to actually feel again, without the emotional flatline bipolar meds cause.  I answered in the affirmative, answered a few more questions she asked and hit send.

Several hours after I left the computer for the day, I found I was still thinking about Sarah’s question. Continue reading

Writing a Safety Plan

DeeDee newWhen I started creating a Wellness Journal awhile back, I found I didn’t have some of the “required” ingredients on hand, including a Safety Plan and a Wellness Plan. Fortunately, plans can be developed as needed, right?

I started with a little research and quickly learned that there are a number of different contracts and plans meant to improve accountability and interventions in mental health crisis situations. Continue reading

When Do I Make the Call?

DeeDee newEveryone tells me I hold out too long. I don’t ask for help often enough or soon enough. I tell them that I don’t know when to ask; they don’t seem to understand.

I’m learning to recognize when things are going awry and when what I’m feeling should be considered “unacceptable” because it’s suffering, not pain. I’ve accepted, at least at an intellectual level, that everyone needs help sometimes, including me. That’s been no easy task. Continue reading

Remember in Recovery

Lulu newLately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own personal journey through recovery.  I can’t say it’s been a smooth ride, but there has always been some sort of progression.  Whether it was achieving a goal, or rebounding from a relapse, I have always taken a lesson from each pit stop, pot hole, and detour I’ve encountered along the way.

That doesn’t mean that it was easy.  Management of disorder(s) is often a confusing and sometimes a painful process. Continue reading

Social Rhythm Therapy

DeeDee newInterpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISRT) is a type of behavioral therapy designed specifically for bipolar disorder. As Wikipedia tells us, it’s:

used to treat the disruption in circadian rhythms that is related to bipolar disorder. ISRT provides a biopsychosocial model for bipolar disorder and recognizes that the illness cannot be fully treated with medication alone, although it is biologically based. It postulates that stressful events, disruptions in circadian rhythms and personal relationships, and conflicts arising out of difficulty in social adjustment often lead to relapses.

Continue reading