Tag Archives: thinking processes

Can I think my way out of depression?

 That very question is one which I myself have asked. It would have been neat if I could have just  set my mind to it and   deciding not to pay any attention to  those never ending  ruminations about my life and all those  crazy thoughts and  painful feelings that came to roost in my mind.  They were unending.  You know, sort of dig a hole and bury your head in it. Hoping against hope that all the noise would just stop. It got worse. I told myself–it’s only going to get worse. It did!

It was strange  how the more I didn’t want to have these thoughts  live in my head, day after day, the more my mood continued spiraling  down into that abyss where no kind word, no positive thinking, nor pleasant future for myself   dwelt.  My thoughts turned angry and my mood was  at a   ground zero. 

Now what do I do I thought to myself? What can I do? All these thoughts were accompanied with an anxiety that seemed to envelop my whole body and turned  my insides into  to what felt like a shaking bowl of jelly. At this point,  my mind was  not thinking of anything, but being  fixated on how rotten I was feeling. Again, what can I do? How to get this constant agitation  and jitteriness  removed? And how did it get this way in the first place. No answers.

  I told myself. Nothing can help me. I might as well give up– throw in the towel. Even my thinking was changing. I couldn’t read with any comprehension or even   wanting  to do the most common of my normal  daily activities.  All my thoughts seemed   like sand slipping through my fingers. I was losing my grip on reality. Was I losing my mind?

I knew that I couldn’t lie in bed all day and do nothing. I knew that my mind was not coming up with any solutions that would ignite my motivation to move. “That’s it”  I said to myself. I got to get moving. And so that is what I did. I started to move the body–and gradually my mind began to work, but I had to prime the mental machinery to get it operative once again. I made up my mind that I must walk myself out  of the  mental and physical mess that I was in. I knew that if I just moved the body my mind would follow–at least that is what I was hoping would happen. And after a year or so, my mind did began to work. My thoughts gradually became clearer  and by taking care of my body’s physical needs (exercise) my mind welcomed this healthy change. I also had my support group Depressed Anonymous help me at our meetings. I could call them anytime and get some help. I WAS NOT ALONE.

I noticed that gradually my low mood was spiraling upwards and my mood  began lifting  the fog that had me confused and dazed and immobile. 

Did I think my way out of depression? I don’t think so. What did happen  is that over time I learned how to create my own  “red flags”  alerting  me when I discovered   my thinking was getting off track. Now these “red flags ” pop up in my mind when old negative thoughts, negative behaviors and irrational thoughts want to start their cycling around in my head.  The old habits that create depression die hard. Now I  use  my many tools (see Tools for Recovery at site menu)  that defend me against  relapsing and spiraling out of control. In other words, I have brought a new and sane balance into my life and my thinking.

Before, when I was depressed, my mind was filled with horrible  thoughts,  suicidal thoughts and  my thinking was getting more and more erratic. In fact, the mind was telling me all sort of negative lies about myself–which I believed. I felt worthless and helpless in the midst of this  negativity,  an unyielding, relentless, and pounding me down tsunami-like, till   I was flat on my back.

My mind has learned a lot since those days when I was a prisoner of my own fears. My thinking no longer focuses on what is negative  about myself. Now I am  focused on what I like about myself and ways that will help me grow and be of help  to others just like me.  Now it’s all about the progress I am making on a daily basis and not worrying about  being perfect.

One of our best tools is to use the Depressed Anonymous Workbook where I can go through each of the 12 Steps and relate my own depression experience to myself, my past and discover reasons  how I got depressed in the first place. Questions in this book prepare us to make discoveries about ourselves and our lives which we never gave much thought previous to our getting into reovery.

I cannot think myself out of depression. I know that now. I tried that route. Funny thing though, is that I always came back to where I started with no more answers than when I started. It’s like a dog chasing its tail.

  (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook, (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.
(c) Home Study Program of Recovery. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY.

          For more information on  Depressed Anonymous Fellowship publications, please check out the Depressed Anonymous Publications  Bookstore. Ordering online is available.

 

 

 

 

HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT WAS POSED TO A CLIENT BY HER PSYCHIOLOGIST? (SEE BELOW).

Dr. Rowe in her book WHAT SHOULD I BELIEVE, asked her client Julie this question:

“Suppose you were faced with a situation where you could act only in one of two ways. If you acted one way people would like you, but you wouldn’t respect yourself, and if you acted the way people wouldn’t like you but you would respect yourself. If you were faced with that, which would you choose, respecting yourself or other people liking you?”

Julie answered immediately, “Respecting myself. That’s one of my standards. I realized that at university. One thing about depression, it does make you independent because you don’t care about popularity. You must function without other people anyway, so it doesn’t really matter about other people. I suppose you just live like an observer, observing people, the way they live, and just get a bit cynical. I am very scornful of people who do things just to be popular. I analyze myself and other people constantly, and “honesty and integrity” is the byword.  ….” Page 203-204.

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Hugh’s comment follows

Julie makes an interesting statement where she says that “depression, it does  make you independent.”  That statement, like the one in the above paragraph made me stop and reflect on my own experience with depression.  Did the experience, painful  and immobilizing as it happened to be, did it make me more independent?  In some ways I think it did. Like, I was more sure of myself as I learned more about my character and how some areas of my negative thinking and behavior were the cause of the spiraling downward of my person into the dark pit of depression.  First of all, I became more aware of my thinking processes and nailed the times that I was beating myself up or not watching the way I ate and the fact of my great need of exercise which I was neglecting. No matter what, I now am embarked on a healthier lifestyle and am convinced that the Twelve Steps continually help me assess my strengths and defects of character. Yes, Julie is right. I am more independent. Now,  instead of going about  my life in a  mindless fashion I am mindful of what prevents me from being in the present moment. I now try to center myself, by my daily prayer and meditation times. All this is critical to my staying sane and serene. What do you think?