After struggling for over fifteen years with depression and anxiety, being misdiagnosed and receiving the wrong treatment, I’ve recently learned that I’ve been dealing with trauma—possibly PTSD.
Since the age of twelve, I’ve survived multiple traumas. While I’m not quite ready to share my story yet, I aim to educate people about trauma and its symptoms. Up until recently, I didn’t even think of the things I’d been through as trauma. I am currently working closely with a trauma certified therapist and expect to make a full recovery.
We can’t change the past, but we can accept how we feel and focus on our strengths.
I have tried multiple medications and therapy. I am in no way a professional, but I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped me through the years.
If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, please call for medical attention. You matter!
- Yoga—I like Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman‘s instruction, as well as Ekhart Yoga on YouTube.
- Meditation—Both Tara Brach‘s and Gil Fronsdal‘s talks and guided meditations are very healing. I especially love listening to Tara, because she is also a psychologist.
- Writing—Writing is my go to method for coping with depression. It’s very cathartic for me to imbue my fiction with my own personal experiences. Sometimes, when I am very depressed, I have a hard time focusing enough to write, though.
- Journaling—Even when I can’t write fiction, I find stream of consciousness writing in my journal to be very beneficial. Not sure where to start? Vanessa Carnevale has excellent journaling prompts on Instagram.
- Music—Putting on some upbeat music and cranking up the volume almost always improves my mood. Sometimes music makes me anxious, though, and I have to play around with different kinds to find the right fit. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Eagles and classical.
- Painting—Letting go and getting messy seems to really help. When painting, I tend to think less and just do. I tend to be hard on myself, though, so I have to be careful when using painting as a coping method.
- Crafts—Anything that keeps my hands busy and shuts my thoughts off is extremely beneficial when I’m depressed. The more mindless, the better. Tracing and cutting works really well for me. I also have arthritis, though, and have to be mindful of how much strain I am putting on my hands. Check out my Pinterest board for some crafting ideas.
I’ll update this page as I think of more coping methods for depression and anxiety. In the meantime, tweet me and tell me how you deal with depression.
How do you cope with depression? What tips would you give to someone else suffering?
— Elizabeth Barone (@elizabethbarone) October 10, 2015