Separating Your 'True Self' From The Lies Depression Tells You
This article from Esperanza magazine, Separating Your 'True Self' From The Lies Depression Tells You, notes that when battling a mood disorder like depression, it's easy to be our own worst critics. Leaning on friends and family for support and words of advice can help you see past your own biases, feelings about yourself, and depression.
Separating Your 'True Self' From The Lies Depression Tells You
Depression can make it hard to complete the most basic of tasks, but struggling with self-care doesn't make you weak or lazy. This article from Esperanza will help you learn to set small goals, practice basic self-care, and combat inactivity.
Read the full article from Esperanza here: Maintaining Self-Care through Depression
Depression & the Power of Pets
Struggling with a mood disorder? Research shows us that owning a pet can boost your self-esteem, improve your fitness and physical health, encourage you to be more outgoing, and offer social companionship, which will make you feel less isolated or lonely.* In short, life with a pet may leave you happier and healthier.
This article from Hope to Cope highlights some of the practical perks of pet ownership - for example, the responsibility of caring for a pet's needs may get you out of bed in the morning - as well as many of the less tangible benefits. Read more information by following the link below.
The Power of Pets
Source: Psychology Today
Depression can be a slippery slope; in spite of our best intentions, a challenging day or difficult interaction can often send us into a downward spiral of negative feelings and negative self-talk.
In this article from Hope to Hope, Leadership Coach Owen Ashton shares his personal struggle with managing his depression, and offers suggestions on how to cope when you feel yourself slipping into a pattern of negative self-talk.
Learn more and read the article from Hope to Cope by following the link below:
Depression & Rising Above Negative Self-Talk
When we know the circumstances that can trigger our depression, whether it be a time of year, our surroundings, or perhaps an experience that brings to mind a past experience or strong emotions, we can better equip ourselves to handle them. In this article from Esperanza Dr. Deborah Serani highlights ways in which we can identify our triggers, as well as prepare ourselves for when we encounter them.
Read the article by following the link below:
Recognizing Your Depression Triggers
If you’re struggling with a mood disorder like depression or anxiety, it’s tempting to want to keep yourself isolated. It’s easy. There’s no pressure involved. It seems comforting. It feels like a solution, albeit a temporary one (“I don’t want to see anyone, so I won’t – problem solved!”) and it’s easy to talk yourself into what feels safe.
As tempting as it may be, it’s important to remember that isolating yourself never actually makes you feel better. It may feel like a quick fix, but it’s not a solution. By staying isolated you keep yourself from developing more effective coping tools for handling your mood disorder, and you end up perpetuating a cycle of isolating behaviors that keep you running in place rather than moving forward.
It can be difficult to challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone, but remind yourself that no one grows by staying comfortable. It’s a willingness to make a change – to sit with feelings of discomfort – that creates room for growth. In other words,
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
If you’re feeling unsure of how to make a change, the following suggestions may be helpful in getting you started. Don’t feel the need to make any huge, drastic changes: baby steps can add up to big progress.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
In this article from Esperanza magazine, Kelly Baker notes, "talking about mental health can be a touchy subject."
Even when approaching someone with compassion and the best of intentions, we may not know what to say, or how best to comfort someone struggling with a mood disorder like depression.
This article offers some fantastic advice and guidelines on what NOT to say to someone who has depression.
What Not to Say to Someone with Depression
When you're battling with depression it can be hard to find motivation to complete even simple tasks, let alone the motivation to tackle larger projects or goals; this article from the Hope to Cope website offers suggestions for how to get (and stay) motivated and moving forward.
Depression: The Mystery of Motivation
This article from Esperanza magazine highlights the ways in which mood disorders, specifically anxiety and depression, overlap, and how treatment for your mood disorder may vary based on your needs. Access the full article via the link below.
Ask the Doctor: When Anxiety and Depression Go Together
When we struggle with a mood disorder we often spend much of our time in our head. We ruminate over the past. We fear the future. In a rush to hit the next milestone in our lives – be it our next vacation, a promotion, buying a home – we’re rarely present in the moment.
We think we’re planning ahead and staying one step ahead of the game, but the reality is that by living in this “what’s next?” mentality we end up missing out on actually living our lives. We forget that life is lived in the in-between moments: brewing our first cup of coffee in the morning, kissing our partner goodbye in the morning, walking from our car to our front door.
We write these moments off as stepping stones that get us where we really want to be, and forget to be present in our own lives. The reality is that we cannot control the future, no matter how much we plan and prepare. The moments we spend in anticipation, anxiety, and worry do nothing to change what tomorrow will bring. Practicing mindfulness can help us stop living in the past, and keep us from living for a future we cannot predict.
Life will continue to surprise and challenge us. No one can guarantee that every moment will be thrilling, joyous, or full of satisfaction, but we can challenge ourselves to live them – to be present for them. We can learn to say goodbye to “what is next?” and embrace “what is now.”
The tools and exercises below will help you practice being present, and mindful, encouraging you to find enjoyment and gratitude in each moment as it comes – regardless of what lies behind or before us.
Be here now.
One thing at a time.
I feel angry that…
I feel sad that…
I feel afraid that…
I feel guilty that…
I feel happy that…
I feel secure that…
I feel proud that…
I feel grateful that…
Breathe in comfortably to the count of four.
Pause and hold the breath (again, comfortable) to the count of four.
Exhale slowly and forcefully to the count of four.
Take at least three to five breaths as described above, visualizing each number as you count.
Experiment with different mindfulness exercises, and find what works best for you. Challenge yourself to be here now. In the words of Eckhart Tolle, “In today’s rush, we all think too much – seek too much – want to much – and forget about the joy of just being.” Let yourself be. It is enough.
Dr. Craig Alan Brown has been providing the highest quality of care and support to the San Diego community for over forty years.