How to Avoid Sacrificing Your Job Because of Anxiety And Depression.
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What's up with this!!!
You're on stronger antidepressants now, but despite this, you can't stop yourself from getting pulled down into that depressing rut.
Boy! You're in that place, again. You were doing so well, but the ghastly depression monster has come back yet again.
Now whatever you do feels pointless really, since you can't stop thinking of all the bad things as depression pushes you down further into that endless spiral of torture.
But you want to get over the pointlessness of everything. You want to feel more in control of your circumstances. You want to want to be "here" in your mind and be able to feel excitement, joy and happiness, especially at the times when logically nothing should stand in the way of that.
You want to be able to avoid the repeating relapses.
I'll be honest with you, when struggling with depression, achieving all that progress in recovery and maintaining it is really difficult.
However, although it's difficult, we can't hide from the fact that there are people who have been able to maintain recovery from their depression.
So what are they doing differently?
Later in this article I will share 45 testimonials from people who have been able to manage their depression effectively. In their testimonials, they share the things they did that made depression worse and the things they did that kept depression away.
Now these people have nothing to do with me or my therapy practice. They are all random people from different parts of the world. Hence I share this just to highlight that I am not the only one seeing these kinds of positive results with the people I serve.
So have a look how the testimonials these 45 individuals share. See if you can copy some of the habits they have adopted which have helped them succeed in their efforts.
But first, here is a feedback from one of my clients which also highlights that effective management of depression can be achieved.
This client related that she'd been depressed from her early teenage years.
She'd always had to work a lot harder than other people due to the combined impact of her depression, dyslexia, anxiety and back pain issues.
She was constantly getting anxious or frustrated at the thought of been seen as a failure. Even though she was a hard worker, she had to spend many days at home in bed, running out of excuses to give for why she was not able to come into work.
As a result of her ups and downs, she feared she would not be able to accomplish achievements she wished for herself.
We worked on her depression in therapy.
Read what she had to say.
"The sessions have helped me to stop over analysing everything. I am now not getting overly stressed, which has had the effect of helping me manage my depression better. I have been able to wean myself off my antidepressants, obviously with my doctor’s guidance.
Now for the first time in ten years I have been off my antidepressants for almost a month, and I am still feeling better than I have ever felt in a long while. In the past, my depression would come back with full force within just one week of stopping my meds.
What’s strange is that my anxiety is also reduced even though I have been stressed beyond belief. My sleep has improved too..."
Here is a testimonial from someone else who just decided to post after reading this. Now I don't know this person from Adam, but it goes to show that recovery and maintaining recovery is possible once you know what to do.
Now over to you...
My belief is that this type of maintenance of recovery from depression is not just for "a select few."
I believe anyone can achieve this once they know the system to follow.
So In this article, I take you through a 5 part video series where I
reveal 5 critical tips for improving your chances to avoid those
invasive relapses commonly experienced with depression.
Treating depression like it's only a mental health condition means you leave out a whole lot of essential things for maintaining recovery.
This is the biggest reason why most people relapse.
The common theme in all the new evidence on depression is that depression is NOT caused by the lack of happy chemicals (serotonin, dopamine, nor-epinephrine etc).
There are other root causes of depression that have nothing to do with mental health directly, the lack of happy chemicals is a side effect of those root causes.
What implications does this have for avoiding relapse?
And how can you determine your root cause of depression?
I explain it all in this video.
UPDATED Video 1: Why you Get Depressed: New scientific Insights
The four links below give some powerful evidence that depression is in fact a whole body disorder.
Now you know how to start thinking about your depression...
You see, the greatest lesson I've learnt about recovering from depression is that you can only recover fully when you are able to distinguish the difference between yourself and the symptoms of depression.
In part 2 of our 5 part series on how to deal with depression, I reveal a better way to think about depressive symptoms.
This is an important preparation for the next steps we will be covering in Video 3
Why is this so important?
Here's video 2: Update to video 2 COMING SOON!
Now what can we start doing practically about the biological contributors to depression?
Have you ever wished you knew that there was an end to your depression. But then
found yourself feeling stuck with the reality of knowing you have
worked your butt off but it all seems for nothing.
You know you want to have your life back, and it's really frustrating that you don't know how to move forward since you're often so fatigued to the extent that you can barely move. So lacking in energy and unmotivated to the point that you cannot take care of yourself, give substantial care and attention to the people in your life who you care about, or have a normal social life.
In this video I will be giving you some practical guidelines that can help you increase your motivation and lift you out of that stuck and frozen place commonly experienced in depression.
Below the video, you can find 45 testimonials of how people have used strategies similar to what I share in the video to improve their energy and motivation levels.
But there's a catch.
As you watch, bear in mind that you can only get out what you put in. These practical steps only work when you practice them repeatedly. In fact, your success would be guaranteed if you make them a part of your lifestyle.
Watch video 3: Update to video 3 COMING SOON!
Now you are thinking....
"Surely it can't be this simple?"
I know it sounds unbelievable, but it is often the case that many solutions to problems in life are right beneath our noses, and that's exactly what's happening here.
But don't just take my word for it..
These people have nothing to do with me personally.
Notice how similar the things they've found helpful are to strategies I suggested in video 3?
I am sharing these with you so that you have more than enough Ideas to help get you started. You can click on the names to see the actual Facebook post where these testimonials were given.
One time I felt stuck was family issues.
I wrote ...a lot. Nothing structured or anything, just wrote what was on my mind. As I wrote, I cried...a lot, got mad and said everything I wanted to as if the person who I was upset with was in the room.
Towards the end, I wrote that I was going to be okay and things I will do to help myself be okay. Got up, looked in the mirror and smiled as the tears were drying and told myself out loud that I will be Okay even if it mean reading what I just wrote aloud. I turned that page and never barely went back to that page.
I got outside. I got around friends that care for me. I wrote. I watched funny videos. I try to be careful what I tell myself. I remind myself I can do this. Uplifting music. I've done it before. I'm in counselling, which I have found to be very beneficial. Best to you.
I gave myself permission to be gentle towards myself once I was out of bed, and to allow myself to improve gradually instead of feeling guilty about not being able to get better all at once.
I shared with loving people about what it was like and allowed them to 'hold my hand'.
I got them to help me get professional help and accepted that counselling and medication were useful to me.
I did my best to gently and generously be a kind mother to myself. I nudged myself along in eating constructively and doing things that supported my well-being.
And I accepted that sadness is a fitting response to some experiences, and that it was not a failing to feel that way.
What made me unwell/depressed in the first place was chronic childhood abuse and neglect.
Sometimes it's financial reasons,sometimes its just accidentally burning dinner....but those small things can make me feel hopeless and fall into the dark place of depression. But you can't stay there. You have to keep overcoming and moving on :)
On days like those i just look at my son and seriously concentrate on where i was 5 years ago,( i was homeless,on drugs,and had nothing to live for),and I remind myself that it's not that bad!
Usually I would break through for a necessary task, such as feeding my children or going to work. I have learned to allow myself some stuck hours without beating myself up, and that seems to decrease the length as well.
What freezes me up?
Usually idk, but it can be too much stress, missing my kids, inability to figure out how to deal with a situation or complex problem. Sometimes i confuse exhaustion with freezing, and since my counselor told me to listen more to my body and rest, I don't feel frozen as much as tired. I often barely make it to Friday before I crash. Best of luck to you.
I just had a discussion this eve that i wish people could have an inkling of how difficult being frozen is for someone battling depression. Try not to bee too hard on yourself when it happens and remember tomorrow is always a fresh, new day. 💜
I have this problem big time but not when I have something important to do. Kids to school etc. I have an anxiety craft club fortnightly and everyone is in the same boat. We have fun so its good. Still struggle to get out the door but so far I get there before it finishes....
I freeze when I've been under loads of pressure...pushing myself...on weekends when kids aren't with me. Safer in bed...well it feels that way.
Depression has a cozy way of sneaking up on me when I'm feeling like "I just need to stay in bed a little bit longer...then longer...then longer... To break my cycle, I un~cozy my bed, I remove the pillows & get rid of the blankets. Then I say to my self ~ now focus on one happy moment that can happen only outside of the bed ~ then I do a pj drive to Starbucks!
Music has helped me with my depression a lot! Just turning on the radio gets me motivated to do my household chores and keeps me awake.
I also think having support from people with the same issues is helpful. I would definitely like more friends who have depression so we could help each other.
Support & Communication
Sometimes you just have to be ok with not being ok. it is an illness and you have to give yourself time to get through it. I never allow myself to miss work because of it, but if that is all i can do, that's ok. Last time was so bad i thought i wouldn't survive for sure, and it lasted for a long time. i told the people i care about that its not them, i will get better, don't try to make me better, just be there when i need you. people who love you will get it, if they don't, there is nothing you can do. give yourself permission to do what you need to do, even if it is just laying around. its ok, you're sick and u will get better
You know there is no text book science when one attempts to take their life and fails at it....
yes - I have had that Freeze moment...well after I came home from the hospital. It is so easy to be engulfed by negative thoughts & emotions - this is what depression is. I did not allow myself to stay there in that engulfment. It was my wake-up call...my 2nd chance at life.
I was fortunate, I had a very good doctor and nurses telling me - "you are not alone, you are not the first person to try this...there have been many other people - doctors, firemen, police officers. Your work here on earth is not done yet, it is not your time..." That in itself helped me. They had no judgement and I had those people believe in me THAT much.
It took some time before my medication really started working...but, I pushed myself - even though with each thought and step I was questioning "why me?". It has been 6 months now..and I have been blessed with good friends to check on me.
I pick a day -either Saturday or Sunday....and I stay in bed for the majority of the morning....then I get up and continue on with my day. Even with this mental illness....I am beginning to love myself again. It isn't easy, but I'm learning not to be so hard on myself...
Make a daily list, but know that you're not going to complete the list. At the end of the day focus on the things you did do, and NOT on the things you didn't, that's where you'll see your gradual improvement and motivation :)
I tell myself that if the most I manage to do today is get out of bed then I am doing okay, I am doing better then yesterday and anything else I manage to do today is a bonus.
Its never easy but its become my mantra. "If I can get up and shower, im doing okay" :)
I get a shower and make myself eat something proper. Even just a bowl of porridge. If I've dressed and eaten, I've achieved something. I'm not gonna beat myself up over not doing anything for the rest of the day.
Anything can trigger my 'frozen days' though. It can be as simple as the weather.
I try to tell myself that I won't always feel this way. It doesn't always work. But on the chance that it does, it actually helps :)
My saving grace is that I have someone that truly needs me. He is 10 and he is my reason. Some days are tough on those days I use music to break away from the black.
Other says I yell at my condition. I fight with it. I tell it it's not going to beat me. It's silly but it gives me a proud feeling when I can force myself to move.
Everyone's battle is different. Just know you are stronger than you think. I have been fighting this for 20 yrs and it almost got the better of me. But I will not let it win. That thought helps me a lot. Do not let it win.
I think of a small job and throw myself out of bed and do it....then I retreat to my cocoon....then after a while I THROW myself out of bed and do another small job.....on a good cocoon day I can eventually THROW myself in the shower and think of something I need from the shop so I put real clothes on and go out....
My dog always needs walks .... It's not fair when she doesn't get out so when I was sick I made myself get out and walk her x
I took away all expectations and just focused on my heartbeat. Pressure from every direction in my life brought me to that place...and pressure I put on myself.
I have found things that I enjoy like my little vegetable garden, my backyard chooks, my dogs. When I go to bed, I write a list of jobs to do the next day. The next morning, my alarm goes off, I force myself up, I shower and I do a job off the list. I cross it off with a big fat black text.
Then I do another job. The jobs will be, feed chooks, collect eggs, pull some weeds, wash the dog, do a load of washing, vacuum the bedroom, wash a window, fold some washing, do groceries, dye my hair..... Easy achievable things. At the end of the day I look at my list of successes and I reward myself with something... Just seeing all those things crossed off is a great feeling :-).
The best thing I did 2 years ago was get my wee yorkie Toby (against my doctors advice) he needs me to get up to take him out but he lies beside at all times giving me unconditional love . Although not so nice when he has wind !
My dog forces me to get up and take a walk with her... I think of my little girl who needs me the most... They forces me to get up in the morning especially during those tough days...
I sleep to escape sometimes. And no its not a solution, its not great, but if that's all you feel you can do, at least you're alive. We do what we have to do to cope. Some are good and some are bad. My goal is making it thru one more day, and I'm not too picky about how I do it.
I have a week where I am busy and then the next one I sleep all day. Sometimes weeks at a time. I've been on antidepressants it works for a few months and then it wears off. I feel like I miss out on so much.
My horses have got me out of bed every day (not literally!) but on some days they haven't been able to stop me getting back into bed/ 'duvet diving' after I've looked after them.
I just told myself if the only thing l did was get out of bed and nothing else that it was ok....that was enough for today......sometimes l would just get out of bed then stare at the wall for a few more hours but l would still say its OK you got up well done.......there was usually a lot of anger and deliberation as well but slowly slowly l got better. Emma
I sometimes wake up feeling terrified. Step 1: uncurl, step 2 breathe, step 3: sit up, step 4: breathe....the next bit is harder, getting out of my duvet 'cave'....I sometimes walk around with it on for an hour or two or shove on a hoody.
I get days when I get an overwhelming feeling of heaviness and dread my mind is saying get up but my body feels heavy my ryes start to close n I make something up like got a migraine that's y can't get up. Then I feel guilty n go sleep. It's helpful on here that others feel same way. Sometimes you think it's just you. I too am getting help n have done for years
There are times when i want to stay in bed, build my soft cocoon around myself to perhaps catch up on sleep because didn't sleep in the night(yet again) i have had this illness since my teens and has got worse with events in my life that have hurt me deeply.
I have learnt by my own illness not to feel guilty about spending time in bed..even if it is a beautiful sunny day outside..
i know i need time to heal my mind and rest my body, cry if i need to and hold myself because there is no one else to comfort me.I have no friends now that are there for me (they don't understand or want to) so i really do have to deal this on my own.
I'm a single mum to, i have 2 children who need me..so they are the reason for living getting out of bed etc, however i have tremendous guilt of being a bad mother because i am unable to be this mum that takes the kids out and do stuff with them that i perhaps feel i should do. I do do trips but only when I am able.
I do think writing stuff down helps immensely ..
Little steps. And don't beat yourself up if you don't achieve them just try again tomo. Family/partner and good friends are essential. Give yourself praise for achieving even just the tiniest thing.
And remember it will pass. There will come a time when you look back on this moment and realise how far youve come (I am there now). As Dory would say, just keep swimming! Love and hugs xxx
Last time it happened after some really traumatic stuff in my life. I allowed it for a day but made myself get up the next day. It's really hard but as soon as you get up and go for even the shortest walk my mood starts to lift. Took a lot of years and lots of dealing with it to work out what works. It's one of the hardest things to do
I've made a happy playlist on my iPhone. I play it whenever I'm stuck. Even when in bed. And then I break the day down into small tasks. Get out of bed. Have some breakfast. Shower. Clean teeth. Make a cup of tea. Watch something I love in tv. I have cats so staying in bed is not an option and they help massively when I'm like this.
Mindfulness - always Mindfulness. It really works. I didn't say it was easy but it's worth the effort because it works.
(((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))) you're not alone!xxx
Small steps, take it in pieces, first off get it together to just pull the covers off, the next step hang your feet over the bed, when you ready sit up, then slowly stand up, this could take hours but its a start!
I just have to think of a reason to get up. I think of a task which I don't want to do, then do it so that I immediately feel better. I also think of my children or my boyfriend and think of things they have said to make me laugh. My boyfriend is going through a very dark time at the moment and it's very difficult to know what to say to him.
There are days when you think nothing will help. It may sound morbid, but I think of friends who died young, and how they would have given anything to be here a bit longer. Try and keep busy and there will be less room for negative thoughts. Big hugs xxxxx
I have the most understanding boyfriend Darren Read who supports me and just like at the weekend talks me through it and tells me it's ok to feel that way. It's that feeling of your whole body being a huge weight that even sitting up is hard when the black cloud comes over head. But my son forces me out bed he pulls the covers back and I am up.
When suffering like this everything seems overwhelming. I agree what other folk have said. Be kind to yourself and think only of small tasks- not the whole days events that you think you have to achieve.
I have been reading these comments in amazement. I thought I was the only person who this happened to. I especially resonate with the person who says they "invent" a migraine to explain to others why they are in bed all day. A few years ago I lost a very good job by being frozen in place & unable to get out of bed on some days - nobody understood. Now I take my own time & it's usually hunger & thirst that get me out but sometimes I creep back in. Hugs to you all xx
I.have joined a gym./health.club and that.gets me out of bed in the morning i love it .It has lifted my mood and i feel.happy when.im exercising and can.see the weight coming off slowly .I also take my dog out long walks too i couldnt of have done this without the help.of a friend
I have a friend that comes over and waits until I get up and going. This usually rushed me up out of bed to get dressed for the day!
I've been there before. I had a six month period where all I could do was sleep. And the guilt weighs you down because you get nothing done. Baby steps. Get up and do one small thing each day. Even if all you do is to get dressed and make the bed. Make a list of what you accomplished for the day. Don't focus on what you didn't get done, but write a list of what you did. Writing it down helps to visualize it. Congratulate yourself on what did get done. It's hard. I won't kid you about that. But force yourself to focus on the positive.
It can be hard but I make myself get up by thinking how worried my husband is when I sleep all day. Once I am up and eat I usually feel better and can do things. If the weather is good I go out for a walk. Exercise helps a lot too. Hang in there, everyone. Depression sucks.
I know the baby steps and help from friends works wonders. I'm so lucky to have understanding friends!
I find I have more energy in the evenings. On days when I feel like staying in the cave of my bed, I do, if possible, at least for a little while. Work, my son, my friends get me up and moving. I also take antidepressants. They help, but I take a very low dose. Exercise also helps too. My cat is great therapy as well, she is relaxing to be around.
Living with family I have to get up out of bed. Which is hard for me to do. But days when my daughter is off I tend to stay. The reason I have this feeling of wanting to stay in bed is because then I don't have to deal with things around me or hear people. I can fall back to sleep and sometimes dream of peaceful places. When those days come where I want to get out of bed I try to look at things I want to do like read or crochet or watch tv.
Sometimes with this world of depression. your body cries for some rest. your mind constantly 'thinks' and u just need a little rest from the constant thinking.
So allow yourself rest at times, but try after a day of recuperation to TRY get up, shower, and get some air. does the world of good. I'm good at giving advice and know it works wonders for me, but I too sometimes take a little longer to get out of that 'phase' then the cycle starts all over...do too much cos I feel great, sleep too little, and over do it, so end up back in 'bed mode' however, like others have said.
Don't feel guilty, u wouldn't do it if u didn't need it! try be around people who understand, u can not be around negative people and expect positive things to happen!
Strange as it sounds. having a best friend who also suffered depression helped me, because we bounced off each other.
We could see when one and other were getting low, so would do all we could to be positive for the other and it made life so much easier!!! more focused. think positive and positive things happen. irrelevant of how small, it all counts! I had to move and leave that friend and found the hardest thing was starting that battle again alone, with people who don't understand my illness. however...
I just try and focus, when I'm ready and eventually manage to do some house work, which eventually leads to a walk to town and then the uphill starts again.
Writing and learning to live with the downs as well as the ups is life's roller-coaster but we are just as human as anyone else, just feel more pressure and intensity to do things 'others' don't even think twice about! be positive people as u are not alone! oh and one other thing animals are the hearts great healers. they do not judge, tell u off, they just love u unconditionally xxx Good luck, b positive and be brave <3
These are super helpful. I couldn't describe the way I felt to my family or loved ones. The best way I could put how I felt is kind of like when you have the flu. You don't feel good, you can't eat even tho you might feel hungry. You can't move, get out of bed no matter how hard you try because you feel so bad. Frozen, like you have a fever.
Exercise certainly helps, being around uplifting friends, although it can be frustrating if they are overly upbeat because I get annoyed haha.
Depression takes a toll on not just you, but everyone around you. I always tell myself I need to get up for my family. I don't have kids yet, but I will someday. I have to be the best I can be for my husband, and for myself.
Depression wants you to berate yourself!
Depression wants you to over work yourself!
Depression wants you to keep feeling guilty!
Depression wants you to be hard on yourself!
The great lie depression tells you is that you need to do all the above to force yourself to be better.
But this does not work. In fact these coping tactics only make you worse.
Instead, in line with all the testimonials above, you will gain the winning ground over depression if you do the following...
Now that you can do something practical to lift your mood, how do you maintain it?
Well there's a saying. We are what we eat.
It turns out that this is scientifically proven too.
So tip number 4 is to...
A common experience people have when in a depressive phase is that they loose their appetite to eat. In fact most people find that they eat a lot of junk food during this period.
Does this affect recovery from depression?
It certainly does!!
But the more important question is...
"What foods should you eat or avoid eating when you are feeling depressed?"
In part 5 of this video series, I have been able to get Patrick Holford ( a well known food psychologist) to show us how we can use our diet as a supportive means to ensure that all our other efforts and practical strategies work effectively
Here's video 4: Update to video 4 COMING SOON!
Want to watch the full video with Patrick?
Click the link below to watch it now!
Now tip number 5 is a big shocker for most people.
Yes, and this is no joke too.
I know I just confirmed that exercise was a good thing a few moments ago. I'll dispel the confusion in just a second.
But first, have you ever been frustrated by those 10 or twenty something ways to beat depression articles littered all over the web?
Then as you read the article they say something like. Tip 1. Be happy... Tip 3. Meditate... Tip 5. Do exercise... etc.
But then they don't actually give you anything useful...
Well it turns out that some of the suggestions in those articles could actually be counter productive and ruin your efforts to manage your depression effectively.
Don't get me wrong, things like exercise and meditation are good. But that is only if they haven't become your survival strategies.
Let me explain.
A survival strategies could be anything you have come to rely on that helps you get through difficult times.
And all survival strategies share three strong characteristics.
Some survival strategies, like blocking out painful memories, are pretty obvious.
You can probably understand how blocking out painful memories might give you some relief.
And you can probably see how such blocking can stop you from effectively dealing with those memories which then contributes to making depression sticky.
But what you might not know is that simple things like exercise can serve the same function as well.
Here is an example.
Lets say something happens that makes you sink into depressive thoughts of painful past memories.
So you pop over to the gym or go for a quick run because this helps to clear your head and gives that much loved dopamine boost too.
You feel better again... until something pushes into the depressive thoughts again. Then you HAVE TO go through this cycle again.
Over and over.
This is a cycle that feeds off itself.
You feel like you are managing depression because you are not allowing depression to get as bad as it used to get.
But in actual fact this is only keeping depression locked away, like a wild animal pacing it's cage looking for an opportunity to attack. Then when you let your guard down depression pounces.
In video 4. I go deeper into survival strategies giving some suggestions on how to manage them.
Here's video 5: Update to video 5 COMING SOON!
Get your full video tutorial on how to manage your survival strategies better.
Enter your name and email then click GET MY FREE VIDEO to access it now..
I know, this is a lot of work.
But I'd like encourage you with these few words. I know this next statement is cliche, but I'll use it anyway.
Remember that Rome was not built in a day.
As you work on these strategies, try your best to keep your eyes on the prize you are after.
Whats the prize?
It's a life full of energy and happiness.
A life where you have control over how you feel.
A life where depression no longer dictates plans for you.
Sometimes you will feel like you aren't making any progress and at other times you will feel like wanting to give u.
But take heart. Proceed at a pace that does not exhaust you.
Keep at it.
Just focus on what you have to do next. What you have to do today, whilst keeping an eye out for those survival strategies.
And like the hundred meter's runner who falls down, sprains his ankle but refuses to give up on the race even if he knows he will finish last.
Press on forward with your learning and practice so that you can build a better future for yourself
Try smarter not just harder so that you can bring more joy to those who love you and want to see you succeed.
My heart goes out to you all...
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