On the last blog post, I wrote about my depression and anxiety along with panic attacks in Part 1 of a two part segment. For this second part, I'm sharing 5 ways in which I deal with and overcome these binding issues.
**Before I begin, this is a disclaimer: This is all based on my own personal experience, research, and beliefs. There's all kind of information out there on this topic and some contradict each other. I write on the facts of what has been true for me and what has really seemed to work in getting me back on track. I know, too, that there could be more severe cases, and I'm not in any way saying whether I'm for or against medication, or that it is or isn't the only way.
Up until a year and a half ago, I'd never taken any kind of medicine to treat anxiety or depression. I was too afraid. I was afraid of something controlling my body or the way I feel. I didn't want anything to relax me too much in fear that my subconscious might still be heightened causing my mind to race 90 to nothing while my body was sluggish and limp. Same for being put to sleep by anesthesia. I'd never had any type of surgery in my life, and it was time to have my wisdom teeth removed. So now I had a choice. Panic all the way to the chair or try a medicine for anxiety.
Valium won. I took 2 small doses as prescribed by my oral surgeon, and I've never been so relaxed and carefree. It was actually rather comical. I came out of surgery acting just like all the other people you see on youtube, lol!! I survived both and came out knowing I can A). take medicine to help my anxiety if need be and B). be put under with anesthesia (see, guys, why worry??). But I can totally see how such a medicine can become addictive, because it's an instant way out.... until it wears off and you're back to reality and square one.
I've always had a strong mind. I try and choose what's good for me even if I know I'll have to endure a little pain for a little while. It's better to me to experience a full load at once and move on than to prolong agony living in cruise control and missing the exit. That's why I try my very best not to medicate. I've had to maybe a hand full of times for panic attacks, and it certainly helps. But for me, and through my research, I believe it is only numbing and I try to face it in organic ways. I've also heard/read that it is easy to become dependent on medicines and your body will adjust to needing those chemicals rather than producing your own for a little while after you try and get off of them.
These are the ways in which I deal with and overcome anxiety, depression, and panic attacks:
1). Positivity & Prayer:
POSITIVITY IS KEY!!! To everything! And prayer/talks with Jesus are the way to positivity. I'm telling you... nothing in this world can lift your spirits like the hope of Jesus Christ. Scripture is such a friend to us and lends us beautiful truths in every single area of life that we need help in. So dive in deep. Pray, look for positivity, and read scripture. Jesus will help you through it!!
2). Talking with family members or close friends/listening to therapy CDs:
If you're a closed off type person, not a sharer, or very independent, this can be very hard for you. But it is also very, very important. Find the right person-- a caring, gentle, and loving person who naturally lifts people up and encourages them. Tell them as best you can how you feel and what is bothering you. In example: I don't feel much of anything anymore except sadness and doom with no hopes or care for the future, and I'm afraid I'll never have excitement for life again. This sounds scary to tell someone, but the people who truly care about you want to know these things and want to help. They also have probably gone through a similar situation too and can provide proof for you that you too will come out of it. Other peoples stories of survival are always an encouragement to us in times of trouble.
3). DON'T DWELL:
Don't worry, don't stress, don't get caught up in yourself or your own mind!! This is the worst thing you can possibly do. This is a domino effect. Once you come up with one worry, you'll quickly find yourself trailing off to terrible scenarios and dwelling on the worst possible thing that can happen. This is never going to help and you're better off just living carefree until it DOES actually happen, because guess what... it might never happen!! The time you spend worrying about something, dwelling on it-- You've already made your life worse for way longer than an actual problem itself would really last. So don't worry about it. This brings me to my next one...
...with hope and with purpose. As hard as it is, as sad as you feel, and even through the nothingness that you're feeling, try and think of some things you hope for. Think of things you did care about and don't let yourself be too upset over the fact that you don't care much about those things anymore. Think of plans, make plans, KNOW that you have so much to look forward to in time when you're over all of this. Don't get too frustrated about it taking time either. Don't get hung up on that and just know that before long you will get through it! Believe it!!
5). Get out anyway and exercise:
This is hard too because being around people or going anywhere is the last thing you want to do. Do it anyway. It's not going to all magically get better the first time, but don't give up. Go again. Go for a walk in nature. Seeing God's beautiful creation is sure to ease your spirit. Getting moving and being around people distracts us. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." Plus exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don't... Oh, wait (Legally Blonde reference, lol!!).
Again, it all comes back to positivity. Jesus wouldn't have us worry about anything (Phillipians 4:6-7). In fact, He would have us focus on holy and pure things (Phillipians 4:8). He tells us that we have purpose, that he has plans for us for hope and a future-- plans to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11)!!! He promises that He is always right there with us (Joshua 1: 9) and that the victory is already won (1 John 5:4). How beautiful is that? What more do we need to live out each day and have hope for the future??
**OPTIONAL (but a definite bonus):
Get a dog! If you already have one, you're in luck. You've already gone through the potty training and all that other good stuff, and you've got yourself a loyal companion. Just go straight in for the cuddles and kisses. That's sure to brighten your day!!