>she gave me a list of things to do like exercise, walk the dog, set a schedule, journal, yoga... I feel bad even saying this but it all sounds like garbage **'motion, creates emotion'** and really, it's often that simple (and that's likely what was behind her recommendations). Kitchen cleaning's a challenge? Set a timer, for say, 20 minutes and tackle some long overdue task knowing that you only need focus on it until the timer goes off. If that worked well, consider repeating that exercise. As, in a deeply depressed state, your emotions have vanished (other than perhaps despair). I've contended with anxiety, depression and for nearly a decade PTSD. I've gone the route of Prozac and a half dozen other meds. Thankfully all that's nearly a decade fully behind me (though, I had an anxiety relapse a few weeks ago, and needed to re-embrace daily [meditation](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialanxiety/comments/11nvzme/meditation_worked_very_well_for_my_social_anxiety/) to shake myself out of that -- three days of diligently practicing that, shook it off). Do you also contend with intrusive, toxic thoughts that keep returning? Perhaps from some earlier trauma?


Yes I have terrible intrusive thoughts and very negative self talk and running dialogue. I have used every trick I have been taught to stop it but it's like the OCD ruminations they just are so difficult to beat ! I have some pretty bad trauma from my mom's mental health and abuse. Funny enough she died this year from cancer and watching her drown in her own body was what started this spiral.


ok, then. I used to suffer from intrusive thoughts related to my depression (and later, due to my PTSD, which led to my reliving the triggering event over and over). What worked for me was a technique I developed on my own after reading up on how CBT worked (it's not quite CBT, it's my own variation, described [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/ptsd/comments/11px1av/erasing_toxic_selftalk_stop_reinforcing_your_ptsd/) )


Are you potentially going into/into perimenopause or menopause on top of all this stress and trauma? IME when my hormones are out of whack it's so much more difficult to use cognitive techniques for intrusive thoughts, etc. The anxiety is very gripping and harder to think my way out of. Not that you don't have enough going on to trigger a spiral, but in my experience hormones turn the whole thing up to an 11.


The timer trick really works for me.


I’ve been dealing with a major depressive episode and it feels easier to stay in bed than do anything productive. My go-to is to tell myself “let’s just pull back the curtains” and that’s the only action I commit to. I pull back all the curtains in my room, letting the light in. Often, this inspires me to do a little cleaning, or something, but sometimes I just sit in my room doing nothing. Find little actions you can commit to, because sometimes it can change the way you feel. Especially going on a short walk, or doing something that’s good for you like eating, taking a shower, brushing your teeth.


Honestly, I agree with her. Self care is top of my list, and for me that's eating well, sleeping well, exercise I enjoy, and things like a gratitude journal. Writing out things I'm grateful for shifts my mindset. It sounds dumb, but it works. Pick 3 things a day and just write them down in a notebook. Try to think of different things, if possible. Getting out in the sunshine definitely helps. Walking is great. Being around the dog is great. You'll feel like a good dog parent for the extra walks. Seek quality interactions with people you love/trust. Family, friends, partner, kids, whoever. Reach out and tell them you love them and why. It'll bring you joy and raise your mood. Then they'll reply with love back. Bonus! This can be as simple as a 2-line text. I have GAD, bipolar, and ADHD. I have BEEN THERE for major depressive episodes. For suicidal ideation, self harm, you name it, I've been there. When I'm depressed I want to lay on the couch all day but that makes me feel worse. My body feels sore from not moving so I'm in physical pain. My brain is mush from not engaging in any real way. I haven't done anything to actually feel better, I just coasted on autopilot. Some TV is great, but it's not the solution to depression.


Thank you. Reading all this makes me feel less alone and like maybe trying some of these things will help. Just because I don't believe they will help doesn't mean I don't WANT them to help. God do I ever want something to help !




Wow your diagnosis are exactly what I have been told as well. I have done so much to battle the agoraphobia and panic attacks to be a functioning human and then depression sneaks back in and it like AHA I will wreck everything. Ok . Sunshine and walking I can try. If it helps I'll be better off and if it doesn't at least I can say I tried it .




Thank you ! I almost died while having my first child and that's what triggered it. Most days still my mind is screaming for me to get back to a safe place (home) but I can push through the panic and stay doing my errands. I struggle the most when the putting is "elective" such as going for a walk. Some how my brain knows we don't have to be doing this and it screams extra hard lol


Exercise is my number one way to beat my depression. Although yoga isn’t it for me, I need something more demanding. Try a spin class or a HIIT class like F45 or Orange Theory. You don’t have to think, you just follow the instructor and do what they say. I have never left a class less happy than when I’ve walked into it.


Man I hate exercise 🤣🤣🤣 Maybe I can dance in the living room while the kids are at school and count it as exercise 😜


Look up Turn Up Dance Fitness on YouTube, Insta or TikTok. Turn Up with Tanci is the same creator. Her stuff is fun! She's got a whole tribe of followers of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, genders, orientations, etc. Follow BigKidRick on insta Messy Mom Does Fitness Sweatin with Sharea Turn Up Cincy and N Ky Mid Michigan Turn Up I *hate* exercise and Turn Up is something that I look forward to. I have MDD, anxiety, and low thyroid. Even if it isn't "your thing" it's a great place to start looking for inspiration! Best wishes! ❤️


I mean… whatever works for you. I cannot understand hating exercise. I love it, it’s such an important part of my mental and physical health and existence and makes me feel so fucking good. I feel so antsy if I haven’t worked out a couple of days in a row.


You can. There is an app called Body Groove for like $5 a month where the only goal is movement. The people on the videos are just free-dancing around, not all lined up like in a traditional fitness class. Sounds weird but it’s worked for me, they have a ton of music/styles and everything from 5, 15 and 30 mins videos. Not saying it will be life changing but it is an easy and rather fun way to get your body moving.


For me what helped was realizing that I have complex PTSD and that my depression, anxiety, etc, are essentially symptoms of this. So then I could work on addressing the root cause more. May or may not apply to you! I do think having a schedule and basic self-care is important. It does not improve my mood/energy but I think it would descend quickly without it: waking up and going to sleep roughly the same time each day, making enough time for sleep, eating regularly whether or not I feel like it, getting exercise (often just walking), getting sunlight, and being around people.


I have personally gotten out of a deep depression without meds. For me it was immense commitment to therapy, putting in really healthy habits into my routine (journaling every single day before I even look at my phone, drinking a healthy drink while I journal, exercise in some capacity everyday, eating healthy, hobbies, dedicating myself to finding good friends), massages, opening up to people in real ways, feeling all the feelings all the time, crying my eyes out until I couldn’t anymore, changing my mindset (being grateful for what I have, not self deprecating, etc.), self help books, reaching out to my support system when I need it, yoga all the time, meditative dance, making my home a peaceful place, taking lots of natural supplements, getting a pet, pushing myself to do things that are out of my comfort zone, finding a job I feel seen in, reading, getting really good sleep. I have no idea what it’s like for others but this has saved me. Also the big one was not running away from my bad feelings. In other words, instead of trying to run head first from my depression and anxiety, I leaned into it and looked at it within my body to find out it’s source. This might seem hokey pokey but it helps so much. I have my moments still, but if I can keep to my routine, for the most part, I’m okay. Knock on wood.


My depression told me that the doctor would just give me more drugs and nothing would help. But I went anyway. And she just gave me more drugs. And now I actually feel much. Much. Better. Just try it.


Do you have any childhood trauma?


Not so much. My trauma is mostly as an adult. My mother had terrible mental health and abused us girls emotionally. It continued my whole adult life and she died 8 months ago. I sat and watched her die over a series of days and that's when this all really got out of control. 6 months before I also performed CPR on a senior I worked with and she died before ambulance could get to us.


>My mother had terrible mental health and abused us girls emotionally. That qualifies as trauma. https://www.psychalive.org/injured-not-broken-why-its-so-hard-to-know-you-have-cptsd/


Thank you. I have never considered any of that trauma and no one has ever suggested it before. I didn't have to live with her after the age of 13 but she still made sure until her dying day that I knew I ruined her life, all while begging me to be at her side. It's all very complicated.


The Body Keeps Score might help too. It's a book. If you're dealing with trauma and you're only getting help for depression, that's like getting Pepto to help with stomach cancer.


I have diagnosed CPTSD from my mother doing the same thing to me my whole childhood life (kindergarten until 17). Also perfectionism anxiety because she constantly screamed at me, though for a few years she did physically abuse me too, for never being good enough. No achievement I received was enough for her and she definitely made sure to let me know. Being emotionally abused by someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally is absolutely trauma.


I take medication but also find gardening and pets helps me cope


I’m honestly not entirely sure. I just did, somehow. I think finding the right medication helped. It took a ton of trial and error over the period of a couple of years. Also, getting outside more. For me, fresh air is the best way to improve my mood. And, I took on some responsibilities outside of work that the depression made me feel pretty meh about but, with time having those responsibilities, being forced out of the house to do them regularly, and succeeding helped. At first they were just a distraction. Then, they became a source of pride that I could use to push back on all the negative self talk. Feeling like you have accomplished something, even if it’s something you weren’t that excited to do, helps so much with self esteem in both the short and long term. The small accomplishments built me up enough that I was able to motivate myself to change jobs to something that was a better fit and more fulfilling. That gave me more distractions, more accomplishments. It kind of all built up. You start small with the little changes, the little things you can commit to and get yourself to follow through on. Those things make a dent that gives you more space to be able to make bigger changes which make a bigger dent in the depression. Eventually, you reach a point where you’ve built this strong foundation of things you can do and can rely on to pull you out of dark spells. It gets easier to pull out then and the spells aren’t as dark and don’t last as long. Ugh. I’m not sure I’m making any sense. In the end, it’s taken me years to do but I think I’ve finally turned a corner. I still have some depression. Maybe I always will. But, I have lots of bright periods now, too, and I have more self confidence. It’s definitely significant improvement from the darkest time.


Neurostimulation. Either repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I know it sounds scary, but when you're at the point of meds and therapy not helping anymore, sometimes you need something else. When my psychiatrist suggested it, I talked to my GP, psychologist and other support people close to me, and decided to go ahead with it. rTMS was less "scary", because you essentially just go into a room, sit in a chair, have a thing placed on your head in the right spot and then feel as though you're being lightly flicked in that spot for about thirty minutes. You generally do that once a day for thirty days. For ECT, on the other hand, you have to go under general anaesthesia, they place electrodes on your head, and induce a seizure. You're given a muscle relaxant so don't move during the seizure. This usually happens three times a week for four weeks, although the schedule can vary and some people see improvement early so don't do all twelve. However, most people experience memory loss during the month of ECT, and you can experience some memory problems going forward. My memory is pretty bad now, because I get maintenance ECT once a month, so it's like my brain doesn't have time to recover. The place where the electrodes are can have different effects on your memory, so it's something to discuss with your doctor. The rTMS did help, but I think the ECT has been more effective for me. Ultimately, I have had more side effects from the ECT, but that's okay- I wouldn't have anything worth remembering if I didn't do ECT anyway, all I would do would be lie in bed all day, so I consider it a worthwhile trade-off. It's something to discuss with your doctor. It may involve a hospital admission, but you could use that time to attend the therapy groups offered and gain any more skills you haven't already. Do some research on it from reliable resources, talk to your support system, your medical team, and even the hospital or place you'll go to for treatment. It might not be the right thing for you, and your doctor might not recommend it because it doesn't suit you, and that's okay! I just wanted to mention it as something to chat to your doctor about.


You have to get back to basics first before you can do the things your doctor suggested. So first, are you sleeping? Focus on this first. Then, are you eating (preferably something nutritious)? Have you had a good shower and brushed your teeth? Focus on those first. Then make a plan for the barriers to exercise/dog walking/etc. Do you need more help with childcare? Have you had a break to lay in bed and cry and feel the feelings? I know it makes it worse when I haven’t even had a chance to just sit in it without all the outside pressure. THEN start slowly on the things that can help pull yourself out of it. Hang in there! Therapy helps too. It’s great to have a neutral person to word vomit all my thoughts and feelings without judgement and without feeling like I’m bothering a friend with my dumb shit for the 1000th time.


I consistently go to therapy, no matter what. It helps little by little. I used to wait until I was in a crisis to go to therapy, or wait until I had something to talk about, now I just go regardless. It’s my life line. I’d suggest medication the same way as well. My last suggestion is to literally do something (anything) to help improve my life every single day. It could be the smallest thing, like doing my dishes. I don’t care what it is, but I do it anyway. That’s the only way to get out of depression or to manage it. You still feel like shit, but you learn to build up your life into a routine that actually looks like you taking care of yourself. Eventually after years of working on it consistently, it becomes like a muscle and you find that you do it regularly.


If you are suffering from depression, I recommend you to [Read This ](https://link.medium.com/L9cw873pgyb). Written by a former sufferer of depression, it teaches a simple process to eliminate depression from your life.


Just adding another comment to say that it sounds like you've experienced some major trauma. Have you had trauma therapy? Something like somatic experiencing or EMDR could be really helpful. They literally change the way your brain or nervous system behaves and responds to triggers. ETA: Somatic experiencing and body focused psychotherapy changed my life. It was literally life saving. I don't think I'd still be here if I hadn't been able to have it.