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anxiety/depression

 
Posts: 230
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Seems like this forum is dead, last post a year ago so Ok

I cant dazzle you with fancy words or for that matter correct English but maybe I can add what I like, subscribe to this  and eventually get a response that may help. Ill try and keep this short.

I have anxiety problem, Ive had it most of my life, in my case it comes from an unhealthy non nurturing up bringing. My parents were unhealthy/abusive and so naturally I turned out unhealthy/abusive.

I am not physically abusive as my parents were, I am not miserable ( although I use to be so miserable suicide seemed the only way out ) I am however emotionally abusive toward those near me AKA my wife. I cannot give her loving emotionally fulfilling support, I can only give her cold, militarism support with deep devotion, caring,empathy that is so strong within me that in my opinion its percolating/wishing to be released.

This percolating behavior is seen as enthusiasm by others, I am or can be one enthusiastic SOB. So much so that I feel I could sometimes write books on overcoming depression/poverty ect but the books would possibly go unfollowed because my way ( the only right way IMO ) is not an easy way and we all ( or most of us ) want an easy way out.

Anyway Ive searched my entire life ( and will continue the search until the day I cease ) for the answers of controlling my mind, Ive watched alot of videos on you tube/read some books and have come to believe that there is no one place to find answers, that answers are to be found in snidbits all around us. Mind control simply is not something we can just do.

In my case when I say mind control I mean the anxiety type feeling ( as an example ) I get when a topic online goes un noticed and un-responded to, yes that still bothers me but I have learned to dismiss this and not let it eat into me so badly, these computers are killing us all, we try to validate our own worth by the number of friends or subscribers we have following us online. Its a shame that we have come to this, when someone makes a comment that is nasty we ( many of us with anxiety ) assume that we are bad/worthless people and rightfully so since we ( anxiety sufferers ) have been told throughout our lives we are such.

I still go to work everyday suffering with this disease, it affects my life greatly but I thank God ( yes I do believe in God or a higher power whatever you choose ) that its not debilitating as it is for so many others. I function in life quite well even with this problem, I overcompensate by working hard, making lots ( in common mans terms ) of money and building my empire. ( only to have it thrown aside as negligible in just a few more years time )

Id like to add as far as religion.....you have two choices, believe in a higher power, believe that this higher power is there to help you assuming you want to help yourself and that when you die you will live the eternity in a better place or you could believe that you die and thats it, your worm food or that because you are a terrible sinner ( as we all are, its our nature, its something we are born with ) you will spend an eternity in pain.

I choose to believe that there is a higher power guiding me ( in my case I am certain ) and as long as I do my best to be kind to everything around me whether it be a fellow human being, the animals/insects or the plants I will be following a good path that will lead me to a good life and an even better once deceased.

Dont get me wrong, I am a thief, a liar and commit just about every misdeed that could be done but these acts are sporadic and are generally not a way of life for me. I thank God for keeping me safe and ask for forgiveness.

In closing Id like to actually suggest something that has helped greatly in my life and that is an audio ( cassette ) series I purchased many ( 20 + ) years ago recorded by Lucinda Basset titled anxiety and depression program, I have never actually listened to the entire series, inside of me there is an evil that is comfortable with a certain anxiety filled lifestyle, its all it knows and it dosent want to relinquish full control but never the less the program helped me personally with its dialogue/showed me that I was not alone and that many of my feelings/hurts were justified.

My question to you is what has helped you? If your reading this and have made it this far than either you just want to read this crazy guys testimony or you yourself suffer from anxiety/depression.

Dont be ashamed to admit, what  have you tried? Help me to grow by adding something helpful to this topic.

BTW My name is Jason Anderson, Walter is my middle name, it would not allow me to use Anderson when I signed up cause it was in use, I am happy to be alive, I look forward to my future ( or whats left of it which isnt a whole lot ) and I AM eager and enthusiastic to improve my mind with your recommendations. Thanks
 
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Posts: 466
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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Great question!

I've tried lots of things over the years and found some coping skills that help me. A couple times, the demands of life outweighed my ability to cope on my own and I went to a psychiatrist. The first doctor gave me an ssri antidepressant, which reduced my symptoms, but wasn't a good fit for me long term. The second psychiatrist diagnosed me with ADHD and autism. Medication for the ADHD reduced my anxiety and depression symptoms drastically, but I still use the coping skills most days.  

The closest thing to mind control that I have found is mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. The part of mindfulness that really helped me was the idea that thoughts just occur for no reason and aren't significant by themselves. My emotional reactions to my troubling thoughts were the root of my persistent negative mood. Mindfulness is basically practicing accepting whatever thoughts occur and letting them just float by without reacting. (Easier said than done). It is also practicing moving and focusing your attention. Controlling what I am paying attention to is very helpful for me when I get panicky or am focusing on being anxious. I can choose to focus on my breath or something sparkly or the sound of the wind, and after a minute or so the anxiety has simmered down and I feel like my brain resets and I can start over dealing with whatever I was doing from a calm place. 

The specific book I used was "The mindful way through depression". Some of the audiobook and guided meditations or on youtube I think. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy uses some mindfulness, but is mostly about training your response to your thoughts. Everyone's goals will be different, but some general goals are reducing negative self-talk, giving yourself positive feedback, and stopping rumination or negative thought spirals. At least that was my take away. I never participated, just read a book. There are many self work books now I think. 

CBT focuses on identifying your triggering thoughts and reframing them or deciding on a positive response. Eventually, when the problem thought occurs, you would use your decided upon response and move on skipping all the negative emotional reactions and storytelling.

So "I wish I were dead. Oh no! we can't think that. That's a bad thing to think. what's wrong with us, why do we think things like that. I am a bad person. why can't i just be grateful and enjoy my life. imagine the funeral and my grieving family. i'm the worst for even thinking about something that would devastate my loved ones...etc."
becomes "I wish I were dead....yep, and right now I am hanging up laundry. Good job doing the laundry that you wanted to do. The laundry is wet now, but it will be dry later because I'm hanging it up right now. Nice!" 

Or when I start to catastrophize about the worst possible outcome to a situation, I interrupt the catastrophe spiral with "yes, that is one possible outcome of many. Another possible outcome is..." and think up something positive and more likely to happen. 

It takes some work and practice and being nice to yourself when you don't do it right every time. And it's ok to let a medication do the heavy lifting if visiting a psychiatrist is an option. 

Try to be nice to yourself, you deserve it! and thanks for sharing your experience. 
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 230
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Amy Arnett wrote:Great question!

I've tried lots of things over the years and found some coping skills that help me. A couple times, the demands of life outweighed my ability to cope on my own and I went to a psychiatrist. The first doctor gave me an ssri antidepressant, which reduced my symptoms, but wasn't a good fit for me long term. The second psychiatrist diagnosed me with ADHD and autism. Medication for the ADHD reduced my anxiety and depression symptoms drastically, but I still use the coping skills most days.  

The closest thing to mind control that I have found is mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. The part of mindfulness that really helped me was the idea that thoughts just occur for no reason and aren't significant by themselves. My emotional reactions to my troubling thoughts were the root of my persistent negative mood. Mindfulness is basically practicing accepting whatever thoughts occur and letting them just float by without reacting. (Easier said than done). It is also practicing moving and focusing your attention. Controlling what I am paying attention to is very helpful for me when I get panicky or am focusing on being anxious. I can choose to focus on my breath or something sparkly or the sound of the wind, and after a minute or so the anxiety has simmered down and I feel like my brain resets and I can start over dealing with whatever I was doing from a calm place. 

The specific book I used was "The mindful way through depression". Some of the audiobook and guided meditations or on youtube I think. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy uses some mindfulness, but is mostly about training your response to your thoughts. Everyone's goals will be different, but some general goals are reducing negative self-talk, giving yourself positive feedback, and stopping rumination or negative thought spirals. At least that was my take away. I never participated, just read a book. There are many self work books now I think. 

CBT focuses on identifying your triggering thoughts and reframing them or deciding on a positive response. Eventually, when the problem thought occurs, you would use your decided upon response and move on skipping all the negative emotional reactions and storytelling.

So "I wish I were dead. Oh no! we can't think that. That's a bad thing to think. what's wrong with us, why do we think things like that. I am a bad person. why can't i just be grateful and enjoy my life. imagine the funeral and my grieving family. i'm the worst for even thinking about something that would devastate my loved ones...etc."
becomes "I wish I were dead....yep, and right now I am hanging up laundry. Good job doing the laundry that you wanted to do. The laundry is wet now, but it will be dry later because I'm hanging it up right now. Nice!" 

Or when I start to catastrophize about the worst possible outcome to a situation, I interrupt the catastrophe spiral with "yes, that is one possible outcome of many. Another possible outcome is..." and think up something positive and more likely to happen. 

It takes some work and practice and being nice to yourself when you don't do it right every time. And it's ok to let a medication do the heavy lifting if visiting a psychiatrist is an option. 

Try to be nice to yourself, you deserve it! and thanks for sharing your experience. 



In my opinion pills are nothing more than something to cover up problems, no different than drugs/alcohol. A person has to learn life skills/ make mini goals, achieve these mini goals and continue to grow.

I do not want to comment too much, I have a tendency of not considering how my comments might hurt someone and I have no interest and causing anyone discomfort.
 
Amy Arnett
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Jason Walter wrote:

In my opinion pills are nothing more than something to cover up problems, no different than drugs/alcohol. A person has to learn life skills/ make mini goals, achieve these mini goals and continue to grow.



That's one way to look at it. Just like insulin covers up a diabetes problem, an inhaler covers up an asthma problem, tylenol covers up a pain problem, or benadryl covers up an allergy problem. Whether or not to use medication is absolutely the individual's choice; they don't work for everyone.  

In case someone reading might be interested, there are also quite a few herbs and supplements that some have found helpful with anxiety. Some are discussed in this thread that I started before going to the psychiatrist the second time and getting diagnosed:https://permies.com/t/133660/kitchen/Herbs-acting-social-inhibition

Anxiety and depression are symptoms that can come from a variety of causes that can be physical, genetic, environmental, experiences, trauma and many others. The root cause will determine which treatments will likely work best for each person. 

I like the suggestion of mini-goals. I do that too. It's easy to set impossibly high standards for ourselves. Small, achievable goals are a great way to increase our successes and feel better about ourselves. Life skills are important as well. Taking care of ourselves, and other people or animals or plants, can be empowering. When I'm feeling like I haven't done enough, I often reflect on the trees I've planted, the gardens I've grown, the perennials I've shared, and the animals I've raised or rescued over the years.
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 230
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Amy Arnett wrote:

Jason Walter wrote:

In my opinion pills are nothing more than something to cover up problems, no different than drugs/alcohol. A person has to learn life skills/ make mini goals, achieve these mini goals and continue to grow.



That's one way to look at it. Just like insulin covers up a diabetes problem, an inhaler covers up an asthma problem, tylenol covers up a pain problem, or benadryl covers up an allergy problem. Whether or not to use medication is absolutely the individual's choice; they don't work for everyone.  

In case someone reading might be interested, there are also quite a few herbs and supplements that some have found helpful with anxiety. Some are discussed in this thread that I started before going to the psychiatrist the second time and getting diagnosed:https://permies.com/t/133660/kitchen/Herbs-acting-social-inhibition

Anxiety and depression are symptoms that can come from a variety of causes that can be physical, genetic, environmental, experiences, trauma and many others. The root cause will determine which treatments will likely work best for each person. 

I like the suggestion of mini-goals. I do that too. It's easy to set impossibly high standards for ourselves. Small, achievable goals are a great way to increase our successes and feel better about ourselves. Life skills are important as well. Taking care of ourselves, and other people or animals or plants, can be empowering. When I'm feeling like I haven't done enough, I often reflect on the trees I've planted, the gardens I've grown, the perennials I've shared, and the animals I've raised or rescued over the years.



I would enjoy continuing this disc however I leave tonight for my property and I'll have to pick it up on my return.

Id like to say though that anxiety/ depression in itself is not an illness or is not an illness that has to be seriously  debilitating.


 
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I do and teach meditation, which has been the #1 thing that has helped my own anxiety and depression. A regular practice helps, but also there are certain tools to use "in the moment" when you're consumed.

Breath work practices are super helpful tools. Our undesirable mental states change the way we breathe, but it's a two way street. If you consciously change the way you breathe, it can counter the mental state. For example: Rechaka breath. When you are anxious, your heart rate speeds up. Just so happens that when you exhale, your heart rate slows down. So Rechaka breath puts an emphasis on lengthening the exhale, which lowers the heart rate and has a calming effect on the body. Puraka breath is the opposite, it's emphasis on lengthening the inhalation to speed things up and help climb out of depression. Sometimes just taking control of SOMETHING is desirable when you feel like your mind has ran away dragging you behind it.  

Mantra practice is another useful tool. Often we see our mental chatter, know it's not helpful, but cannot do anything about it. So mantra helps by giving the mind something positive and productive to do. It can be an English word or phrase though I prefer using Sanskrit mantras that I know folks have been using for thousands of years. For example, a Ganesh mantra helps us identify with the idea of Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. I could spin out about all the things I have to do in a day and let my mind freak about how I can't or how it's too much... OR I can just start repeating "om gam ganapataye namaha" in my mind our out loud and imagine myself to be this great unflappable elephant god plowing through all my obstacles with composure.

Gratitude is incredibly helpful for depression. Before you even get out of bed in the morning, think of a few things you're grateful for. This sets the tone for your day and beats the heck out of waking up miserable and slogging through. I thought this was kind of hokey at first but now I do it automatically and it has truly improved my life. I also do a more formal gratitude practice during my seated meditation sometimes. And don't forget your vitamin D for depression!

And of course hatha yoga is great because we hold so much mental tension in the body and just moving/breathing/stretching provides relief for the mind.  

 
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This is such a broad topic, I really can't offer much specific advice here as these are very personal issues and have a variety of things that feed into them, but one thing that pops into mind is how many of us have become so sedentary in our lifestyles and apprently this can wreak havoc with our limbic system. From what I understand, this is what controls our 'fight or flight' reaction. Many things in todays world can trigger this response, it could be our daily jobs, a TV ad or a news headline or even an unpleasant smell/fragrence. Back in the day it used to be a tiger or an enemy combatent that triggered such an event. This send a rush of adrenalin into our system to help us deal with the situation (fight or flight). In any event, whether we fight of flee, it's a physical response and that in turn releases endorphanes. These endorphans act to break down the adrenalin so we can feel at ease after our engagement (ie: runners high). Today, we often neglect to excercise enough and this leads to a build up of these stress hormones. This can lead to feelings of anxiety.

So my best non-medical advice is to get out there and move around as much as possible. Run, hike walk, swim, dance - it really doesn't matter ...remember to breath deeply, too! - this is very important.  Something as simple as hula-hooping can have very positive results without having to resort to meds. I'm not saying meds are inherently bad, I just feel they may be overprescribed to mask or cover-up the ailment. My opinion is they might be good for a short period of time, much like a crutch for a broken leg, but not as an effective long-term solution.

May I offer a favorite video of a hula-hooper and her journey for your consideration, her progress over 7 months is amazing!

 

best wishes to all,
-Pete
 
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@Matt....   I couldn't have explained better how 'mindfulness meditation' has helped me as well and has taken the depths and edges off of depressive episodes.  For me, embracing the "chatterbox" mind is a bit like having to be the adult in the room in the presence of a demanding and over-excited child that needs help with its emotional regulation.  Thus, I may address that chatterbox with "Wow....we are excited and anxious tonight, aren't we...." and invoke some virtual hugging, calming, and breathing.  In an admitted oversimplification, I feel so much of anxiety and depression to be rooted in those stressful times from our early lives when we simply did not have access for various reasons to adults who could provide this interaction and modeling.  Meditation has provided that avenue of 're-parenting' that has provided a slow and even-keeled, yet clearly noticeable change for the better.

@Pete....   Wow....I was mesmerized for the full 9 minutes!  Such a reminder of the simplest things in life that can bring the world out from inside of us.  Thanks for both of your posts....
 
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