When you seek out help to deal with depression, you have a lot of choices about how to approach depression treatment, but you might not realize it. If you head to a primary care physician or health clinic, you’ll most likely get a prescription for an antidepressant. Medication may give you exactly the relief you need, but many people do not respond to antidepressants.
In that case, you have to start looking for more effective methods, but information about the great variety of therapies can be hard to get. Finding something that works is usually a trial-and-error process that can take a long time, even years.
Storied Mind has a lot that may be helpful to you in this search. The core posts listed here explore the early phases of finding the right treatment: learning as much as you can about your specific symptoms; dealing with doubts that can block your commitment to getting well; and ideas about how to get started. The posts listed in the sections on Psychiatric Medical Treatment, Psychotherapy and Self-Help describe many specific forms of therapy from the perspective of someone trying to get well.
I’m happy to announce that A Mind for Life, my ebook on recovery from depression, is now available. Unlike many recent books about how to deal with the illness, this one focuses on the inner work of change rather than medical treatments and experience with antidepressants. It may not be for everyone, but it captures the struggle I’ve had to face in overcoming internal resistance to change and in mastering the skills of mind and […]
Psychotherapists can help us make breakthroughs in dealing with depression, but often the insights gained during a session don’t lead to permanent change. Why is it that we can’t always put the new insight into daily use and sometimes forget it as soon as we’re out of the room? That’s the problem that a new approach, called coherence therapy, tries to solve. Like the work that led to focusing oriented therapy, the coherence concept came […]
This post is the first in a series about how you can help yourself begin recovery. Depression can be a powerhouse of misery that leaves you feeling helpless, but it’s not one massive force, whatever it may feel like. Depression is a combination of several conditions, and there are effective ways to deal with each one. It takes a lot of trial and error to find the best treatments, but the steps described in these […]
I can pinpoint a moment when I came to believe that depression was not just an illness that struck from time to time but part of my identity as a person. I was talking with a friend one day about how big a problem depression had become. He thought it must be brought on by feelings that life had no meaning. I told him it wasn’t like that at all. It wasn’t caused by anything […]
Let’s say you’ve committed yourself to do whatever it might take to recover from depression. But then what? There are many forms of treatment to choose from, chief among them these days are medication and cognitive therapy. There are also other forms of psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, changes in nutrition, regular physical exercise – and those are just the beginning. They always seemed to me like puzzle pieces. No one of them let me see much, yet I needed a big picture to understand how to fit them together.
Here’s one part of a post from a couple of years ago, written a few months before I knew I’d really gotten past depression. Stephany at Soulful Sepulcher had suggested that I try assuming this: I have recovered. That really got me thinking and actually proved to be a turning point. I started imagining what it would feel like to be recovered and wrote this as if it were spoken by an actor in a […]
The question continues to puzzle me: How did I get over depression? That deep change began about 18 months ago, and it’s been a year since I knew for sure that something fundamental had shifted. The nemesis wasn’t after me anymore. In fact, I couldn’t find that thing anywhere near me. After so many temporary recoveries, I was cautious about saying – or even thinking – that I could finally be free of it. So […]
Recently, I’ve started asking myself a basic question: Why get well? What do I really want in fighting depression? After all, if I’m working on recovery, I ought to be able to see what I’m aiming for. I thought for a long time that what I wanted was to be free of depression. That would be tremendous, of course, but then what? What do I expect my life would be like? I tend to hear […]