I received a question from one of my Forward Steps readers and felt compelled to respond because of the gravity of the subject matter, namely depression and ptsd.
Anything that might identify the person who asked me the original question, is removed.
This is a copy of my reply to, “What’s the best thing for depression and ptsd?”
Thank you for your question. You will first need to understand that I am not medically qualified and am not a trained psychiatrist.
I can give you some personal opinion if you like.
Check for all physically related health issues first
For example, test (ad) levels of Vitamin D, the B group vitamins and sugar, in the body. If female, I’d also check for hormone levels.
If you have any addictions like coffee, food/sugar or smoking, reduce those or work on completely “releasing your need” for them.
I’d recommend getting the body as well as it can be, as first port of call. For example, walking 30 mins. 3x per week, drinking 1.5 litres of water daily, good sleep patterns, a 30 min. guided meditation routine each morning.
Your surroundings have a lot to answer for, too!
Do what you can to eliminate environmental sources, this includes people.
For example, if it is due to a particular line of work, look for other options even if that means living on less money (health is worth more that status or money).
See fewer “friends” who perpetuate the “depression conversation” and see more friends who make you feel great.
If you need to get more organized because clutter in your life makes you feel out of control, start a 15 min. daily clean up and purge all unnecessary items that have been hoarded.
Set up little “systems” that serve you better e.g. a bowl at the front door for keys, a filing cabinet for all documents, an in-tray with oldest item at top for daily attention, etc.Whatever you focus on WILL expand! Click To Tweet
Put that quote, above, on a poster somewhere prominent in your home. Switch your thoughts to what is great about your life each time you see that quote.
Keep a gratitude journal, each night before sleep write 5 things for which you are grateful that day.
No matter how challenging initially, stick with that 6 months and observe the change in your outlook.
Wake with clear purpose and sleep each night feeling accomplished.
Each evening, just before sleep, write the 6 most important things that you MUST do next day and attend to those 6 things as priorities.
I cannot emphasize the following too much…
…water intake, exercise, personal environment/influences and Vitamin D, etc. If nothing else, get those attended to first.
When was the last time you did something that is nurturing and ONLY for you?
Do something out of routine, like walking along a lake or beach, sitting in the garden reading a good book with your favorite music playing, luxuriating in a warm bath. Make something nurturing, a regular practice.
Definitely, see a health professional
Get a recommendation from a close friend (someone who you know and trust, who will know someone good).
ALWAYS, always, always get in touch with another human being when you feel that you are starting to “dive”.
Even if it is a walk to the local shop. Get some external energy from which you can draw and on which you can “lean” for a moment.
The moment WILL pass, even if you can’t see wood for trees when you’re in the “thick of it”.
I hope those few snippets will help somewhat.
Remember, those are my personal opinions only and not medical or professional advice.
Some good resources to explore…
Those are Australian links, if you are elsewhere you could do a Google search for equivalent in your country. However, those Australian links still make for good reading and research.
Before posting this article
I asked my doctor, who’s also a friend, to scan over the article for me and she suggested including thyroid problems as a possibility too.
In her words exactly: “I think your article is great…it includes a lot of the medical things to look out for …including vitamin D!…(you could also mention thyroid problems). Plus you have lots of practical hints”.
Also, after posting
I received the following suggestions from another Forward Steps subscriber:
It’s a good article. If you don’t mind I’d like to add a few more suggestions that have helped me from sinking further into depression caused by doctors and health professionals not believing my situation and aggravating my condition; PTSD or even TSD because the world of sound which causes anaphylaxis and increased intensity of pain for me is unsafe.
For people, who can’t or have never visualised the glass half full, I find it helpful to visualise the potential for the glass filling with whatever [you] want or need, no matter how small the ‘amount’ or how ‘silly’ [insert own word] it sounds.
Also, there are the minute ‘safe’ moments – to acknowledge them and store those (we’re very quick at storing the unsafe). Verbally acknowledge (instead of just thinking) nice sunset or whatever is nice (I don’t like using the word positive because that word can rile a person with depression or PTSD.)
On waking up try to avoid saying – “what a bad night, I got no sleep, I’m in pain – subconsciously you already know it so why reinforce it? Instead, smile (even if it is more a grimace) and focus externally picking whatever is nice, pleasant etc to make comment on to yourself.
There’s lots more Thea but I hope these few suggestions may offer further insight for your readers.
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