the art of mindbending

the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2

11 ways to counteract depression

In light of Rory’s Terminally Intelligent blog Top 10 Strategies for Reducing Anxiety, I was inspired to look at depression with the same critical and hopefully eye. I hope it helps.

I enjoy reading articles posted on Twitter and Facebook on a variety of tops such as artists, history or top ‘blah’ things. It’s like little newspaper snippets grabbing-fat-stomachbrought right to me. I don’t have to search for my lazy self. What I find appalling are the number of, “If you liked that, you might like this article.” These newsy tidbits are often surrounded by offensive advertisements about the same thing. Belly Fat.

Our obsession with the physical look and feel of our bellies gets fucking old. Come on, you know you’ve seen these and looked down at your midriff. You may have looked down in pride. I look down in shame.  The images make me want to grab ahold and do the Tim Allen (Santa Clause) belly shake.

I’ve never been happy with my body. Ever. This is for two reasons. 1) I’ve been told by the media throughout my life that I am not the idea female. 2) Critical assessment: I’ve been told by family members that ‘just a few more pounds to go!” Or, “You’d be such as pretty girl/woman if you would just lose some weight.” To being called bubbles and fatty on the playground.

I don’t remember much about being called smart or funny. I remember this crappy stuff. Such as walking down the street in college where someone randomly yelled out a car window driving by, “One’s fat, the other one’s cute.” My childhood friend, who has never been fat tried to take the fat statement on as her criticism. I shook my head and said, “You know that isn’t true.” Now this was decades ago, but I still remember. Negative comments stick with people. Positive praise is easily forgotten.  This is especially true during bouts of depression.
Volume_Knob_Logo_500x500When depressed, I don’t look in the mirror. Mirrors are triggers. I base my sole decrepit value on the fact I’ve always been fat. Nothing can dig me out of these thoughts. Things like Fat People Hate Sub-Reddit (recently banned) was not a place to visit. Ever. The black dog sits down on my carcass and recounts many times in my life where I’ve been ridiculed. I see the belly fat grabbing drawings and before and after pictures and think, what the fuck is wrong with me? I am a worthless human being.

This is what depression can do to a person. It looks at everything negatively and digs it under my skin. When I do come up for air, I can see positive. I can pew-pew negative body image. I can look in the mirror again. Here are my tactics for reverse-thinking this sort of shit. I am currently working on #1, #5  and #8 to punch depression in the gut.

11 ways to counteract depression

  1. Get Help: Don’t wait if you haven’t seen someone for treatment or assessment. Please, do it now.
  2. Redirected thinking: Move your thoughts to a task at hand. Even a couple of minutes or seconds can help a little.
  3. Talk to a trusted friend or family member:  Talk about your negative thoughts. Make sure they are prepared for this in advance. My trusted friends and hubby will counter act my thinking with something positive. Even if it doesn’t feel like it sticks to me, it helps beat down the depression in the long run.
  4. Immerse yourself in a hobby or movie or book. I like to play MMORPG video games and can truthfully leave the real world behind, play with friends and give myself a temporary rest from real-time.
  5. Make a list. One side positive, one side negative. For ever negative, you write 2 or more on the positive side. These can be something you may think of, or something and friend/family member said (See #2). Don’t think you have to have do this in one sitting. Work on it each day.
  6. Refrain from putting yourself in a negative situation where you are forced to look at your perceive negative self. Can’t stand to look in a mirror, don’t. Can’t stand to be a part of a group, chill with a friend instead. Can’t stand to leave the house? Leave the room you’re in.
  7. Try to plan at least one event outside your dwelling 3 times a week. Don’t count an invite, it’s too easy to cancel at the last minute. This could be a walk around the block or to mailbox, a shower, a trip to the library or half price books for a new read, watering your plants or helping a neighbor with something on the spur of the moment. You may have to work up to 3. Start with one the first week and gradually increase.
  8. If you can’t think of positive things about you, give one person a day a compliment. It helps you look at and think positively. It gives the other person a smile. One smile helps the world be a better place. Have trouble doing this face to face? Do it on the phone, in an email or text or post with a tag. But in the end, the goal is to work up to face to face…to a stranger or someone you know.
  9. Do one thing to improve your environment. Setting can help improve your outlook on your surroundings. I pick up a few discarded clothes on the floor I’ve been staring at too long. Other things I’ve done: Recycle something in the bin, put shoes away, or pick out an outfit for work to make it easier in the morning. You get the picture.
  10. Do one thing healthy each day. Ideas I’ve used, eat one piece of fruit. Drink an extra glass of water or brush your teeth. Do one jumping jack or a whole body stretch. Walk outside for 5 minutes or 10 minutes around your house/apt. Work up to 15 min outside or 20 min inside. You choose the goal. Go to bed on time. Get up at the same time. Dance a little to a song.  These are all victories.
  11. Be patient with yourself.  It is fucking hard to dig out of depression, even with therapy and medication. It’s hard damn work. When you are at your worse, pick ONE of these ideas and work on it. Make note it is positive. Say to yourself, “I did this or tired this today.”

51kYR+ivIxLYou can do it, though. I know you can. For me today? Jelly Belly is a fucking candy. People grabbing fat are there to make me feel guilty and buy something. I don’t want what they are selling. Negative: Belly Fat. Positive: Made it to work on time, Took a shower, Complimented hubby on his awesome cooking skillz.

baby steps,

zooey

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