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Why Am I Always Told To Work The Program? Part II


Pete
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7 years ago 0 Pete 223 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
My first step in getting out of this episode has been to decide whether or not I need to go and seek professional help again. It's been refreshing and good for my confidence to be out of therapy for a few months and I don't want to take the step of going back unless I am sure I need to.
 
And I'm just holding on to my past experiences - I have felt a lot worse than this in the past and come through. If I keep remembering that then I have hope. Relapsing is boring and demoralising, but I have a feeling it is something I shall live with from here on in.
Ashley - Health Educator
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Beautiful description Pete.

I also liked the bit of positivity there at the end. It's true. You will get through it again.
 
What is the first step to getting there?
Ashley, Health Educator
Pete
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7 years ago 0 Pete 223 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hmmm ... you never thought I ranted, huh? I must try harder in future 
 
But, seriously, you ask how I could reframe my description of the ease with which I can fall back into depression. Well, I could describe it as an old friend, always there for me, but that's probably worse than the terms I did use. But there is a germ of truth in that, because there is a sense of comfort, familiarity and safety about reacquainting myself with ways of thinking and behaviours that had all but faded away. Wrapping myself in a little bubble - for me, depression is so much about detachment, wilful isolation, a withdrawal from trying to cope with people's confusing behaviours, a strange sanctuary where there are no expectations and a state where there is no failure because it is failure itself. It's inaction and when I am in a depressive episode I have a built-in justification for that torpor - "I'm depressed ... I have no energy, no motivation, it's my serotonin ... blah blah ...".
 
Sorry, once I get writing I just go on and on. Wander horrendously off-topic. I suppose that if I try and see things in less emotional ways, there's a lot of habit there. I have become accustomed to thinking in a certain way, and negative events or even thoughts can trigger it very easily, more easily than I had hoped. But, y'know, I've been in and out of visits from the old black dog and have always survived and bounced back. No doubt I shall do so again. 
 
 
Ashley - Health Educator
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Hi Pete!

Great to see you Oh how I have missed your contrary oppinions! I never thought you ranted.
 
Sorry to hear what brings you back though. First of all, it has nothing to do with how strong or resilient you are so let's challenge that core belief. Please know relapses are completely normal and actually an important part of the healing process. They just point to where a bit more learning can take place. We will help you figure that part out.
 
Your descrptions of depression waiting in the backgorund sounds quite scary! What is another way to reframe what you are experiencing in a less intimidating way?
 
 
 
 

Ashley, Health Educator
Pete
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7 years ago 0 Pete 223 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Hi, Ashley, hope you're well. I've been without treatment for several months, but I can feel the rudder falling off my boat right now and probably need to go back to my psychotherapist, who helped me so much last year. I'm not yet quite as strong and resilient as I thought I was and am needing some more help  (hence I've popped up here again, just when you thought you'd got rid of me and my rants and contrary opinions ). Medication is not for me, though. Really didn't agree with me and I will have to be a lot worse than I am to go down that road again.
 
Oh, it's a devil to beat, this depression. It's like an addiction, always sitting there in the background awaiting its chance to take me over again.
Ashley - Health Educator
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Remember: More than 80% of people with MDD improve when they receive appropriate treatment.

Research indicates that mild to moderate MDD often can be treated successfully with either medication or psychotherapy alone. However, severe depression appears more likely to respond to a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Many people probably do best with combination of medication and psychotherapy: medication for relatively fast symptom relief and psychotherapy to help the person to learn more effective ways to deal with life's problems, including depression. Some people, however, cannot be on medication for various reasons (e.g., pregnancy). One type of treatment is better than none at all. The most important step is getting help.

In general, severe and recurrent MDD may require medication (or ECT under special conditions) along with, or preceding, psychotherapy for the best outcome.

Psychosocial Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
As an addition to medication, psychosocial treatments - including certain forms of psychotherapy are helpful in providing support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Studies have shown that psychosocial interventions can lead to increased mood stability, fewer hospitalizations, and improved functioning. A licensed mental health professional typically provides these therapies and often works together with the psychiatrist to monitor a patient's progress. At best, the number, frequency, and type of sessions are based on the treatment needs of each person. Psychosocial interventions commonly used for bipolar disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, family therapy, and a newer technique, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people with bipolar disorder learn to change inappropriate or negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with the illness, as well as respond more effectively to stress.

Psychoeducation involves teaching people with bipolar disorder about the illness and its treatment, and how to recognize signs of relapse so that early intervention can be sought before a full-blown illness episode occurs. Psychoeducation also may be helpful for family members. Family therapy uses strategies to reduce the level of distress within the family that may either contribute to or result from the ill person's symptoms.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm helps people with bipolar disorder both to improve interpersonal relationships and to regularize their daily routines. Regular daily routines and sleep schedules may help protect against manic episodes.
As with medication, it is important to follow the treatment plan for any psychosocial intervention to achieve the greatest benefit.

What treatments are you utilizing at the moment?

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