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lbelk
#13
Nov10-12, 11:40 AM
P: 2
I've been in a similar position before, and I can offer some practical strategies to help while you're working on the longer-term solutions to kick in (life changes, therapy, medication, those hard things that will need time to take effect). I have found that one way to get through a short period of depression when you have a goal in sight is to set rules for yourself- you must do things that you know are healthy, like defined exercise and food choices and avoiding self-destructive practices like drinking alcohol alone or or seeing depressing movies, websites, chat rooms, etc. You must also police your ruminations, and do your best to avoid replaying situations you feel you handled badly- social interactions or past memories or test performance or whatever you may be judging yourself on. Whenever depression starts to act up it seems that people become hypercritical of themselves. I read somewhere that depressed people weren't necessarily incorrect in their perception of their performance, they were stripped of the blinders most people have as protection against their own inadequacy. So that you suddenly see in black and white all the little stupid things you constantly do that everyone else is oblivious to, or forgives themselves for, without thinking. And you focus on each one of these until all you can see is a mountain of failures. Yet most people would not even notice or remember those incidents that you are worrying about! I am middle-aged now, but I have gone through several periods of depression such as you are describing. At first it took medication and therapy to overcome, but I also learned to realize when I was being too absorbed with my own reactions to small events. Obviously long term you must deal with your issues, but short term it does no good at all to re-play and agonize over interactions- make a plan to address your problems, then each day focus on a healthy day and positive situations that keep you from re-playing events instead of focusing on the present And realize depression makes it harder to memorize things, so use memory aids- when you feel better, your memory skills will return to normal too Hope this helps you