Author Topic: What do you do when you're depressed?  (Read 414 times)

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Offline Raylight

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What do you do when you're depressed?
« on: May 17, 2016, 04:15:20 PM »
As a Christian, what do you do when you're depressed? To whom do you turn when you feel that you can't find joy in your day anymore?

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 05:55:46 PM »
I go to my doctor and ask for a refill on my anti-depressants. So far, it has worked well.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 06:50:37 PM »
When I'm sad, doing something with friends works greatly. As this is rather unfrequent in my routine, making silly posts on Facebook and OC.net usually distracts me enough.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 06:59:00 PM »
Having more friends or more money would be nice. Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my youth, in the earthly sense. At least I found the Church young enough to use it well in the sense that actually matters.
Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. Return, o Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.

Offline eddybear

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 07:10:30 PM »
If you mean depressed in the temporary sense, of being buffeted by the general ups and downs of life, then various things help me, such as: prayer, spiritual music, chocolate, comedy on tv, going for a walk, stroking the cats.

If you mean depressed in the long-term, clinical sense, with an underlying chemical imbalance, then it's a case of talking to my doctor and if necessary adjusting my antidepressant meds.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 07:12:22 PM by eddybear »

Offline biro

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 08:17:11 PM »
I get some rest, put on music, or play video games.

Offline BrotherBoris

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 08:25:23 PM »
When I am really depressed, I make myself very comfortable at home on the sofa with lots of soft, comfortable blankets, coffee, good books and in the winter I turn up the furnace to make everything nice and cozy and warm.  I also use a full spectrum light box in the dark winter months as it helps with the depression.  I make sure I stay on my medication and make no major decisions until the depression passes. I make a point of eating foods I like during that time as well, regardless of whatever fasting season we might be in.  If I am really depressed, I am going to eat sometime to make myself happy. While I am depressed, I stay away from loud noises, people, crowds and especially shopping malls.  I find the solitude helps heal me.  Being around crowds and other people just makes my depression worse.  Eventually, it passes.

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 10:11:01 PM »
Caveat, as noted above, pertaining only to "situational depression':

I force myself to work out, doing a routine that has some cardio and a lot of weight/strength training.   That releases endorphines which do help the moody blues.

Another self-therapy (again, forcing myself to get started) is to do some physical outdoor work, like mowing, cutting or splitting firewoods, etc.  Like the exercise regimen, there is the brain chemistry effect plus the benefit of actually accomplishing something that can be seen or measured.  I might not be able to "fix" the problem leading to the depression, but I sure can turn a fallen tree into log slices and log slices into split firewood.

Offline wgw

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 10:21:18 PM »
I go to my doctor and ask for a refill on my anti-depressants. So far, it has worked well.

There is a point that should be made here: depression is an actual medical condition, the Orthodox Church believes in psychiatric medicine (see the book Orthodoxy and Pscyhotherapy, writteb by a prominent Orthodox psychiatrist in Greece), we even have operated in Greece and elsewhere some rather successful clinics for drug users and so on.

So if you do feel persistently depressed, talk to your GP.  You will probably not be referred to a psychiatrist unless the symptoms are bad or do not respond to an easily prescribable course of anti-depressants.

I myself once suffered from severe anxiety as my father was dying and on one occasion obtained from my doctor a one off prescription of lorazepam or somesuch to help me sleep.  I wouldnt want to take those again; they knocked me out cold, but I am unashamed to say that during that one moment in the horrible stress of the past fewyears before he died, I did ask my doctor for assistance in sleep, and got it.

Not depression, Ive never had that, but I have a relative who did have depression who had some success with regular medical treatment and did not have to go the route of therapy.

~

Orthodox prayer also assists and can provide assistance when no access to medicine is easily available.  Someone who is depressed should talk to their priest as well as their doctor.  When I am sad, I try to pray the Jesus Prayer and remember the good things God has done for me; I also try to shut down distressing or upsetting thoughts when these arise, and not dwell on them.  Dwelling on them makes the devil happy, and I am not, for one, inclined to give old Davy Jones a pleasant day; at least unless he moraculously repents and stops harassing humans all the time and messing with to our temptations.  :P

So, drop the depressing thought, count your blessings (Thank you dear Lord, that I am whole, that I am healthy, that I have my personal liberty, that I live in a prosperous and decent country, that my relativex n, n and n are alive and in good health, and please bless all those less fortunate than I"), or "Thank you dear Lord for all You have blessed us with"), and say the Jesus Prayer.

I believe one of the Desert Fathers or one of the Fathers of the Philokalia likened the mind to a garden, and you have to drive off the crows (bad thoughts) and other pests before they do damage or make a home, tending it with vigilance and also nurturing your fruit-bearing plants, of prayer and repentance.

I think that is how they would have dealt with it before modern medicne, and this still can work alongside modern medicine, or if your doctor determines you do not meet the diagnostic criteria for depression per se (which by the way, ought itself to be a source of some...relief).

Offline Rohzek

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 10:44:40 PM »
If you mean just depression that you don't think requires actual medicine, well there are number of things:

1.) Go out with friends

2.) Sit alone in a dark room and listen to Soundgarden's Superunknown all the way through.

3.) Watch anime, but this one is probably too specific to me.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 10:45:30 PM by Rohzek »
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Offline KostaC

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 01:06:19 AM »
As a Christian, what do you do when you're depressed? To whom do you turn when you feel that you can't find joy in your day anymore?

I complain to my friends and get really bitter and annoying. It's not a particularly healthy coping mechanism.
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Offline Antonis

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 01:15:10 AM »
I go to my doctor and ask for a refill on my anti-depressants. So far, it has worked well.

There is a point that should be made here: depression is an actual medical condition, the Orthodox Church believes in psychiatric medicine (see the book Orthodoxy and Pscyhotherapy, writteb by a prominent Orthodox psychiatrist in Greece), we even have operated in Greece and elsewhere some rather successful clinics for drug users and so on.
I believe you are citing Orthodox Psychotherapy by the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, HE Hierotheos.
You sound like a professional who knows what he's talking about.  That's because you are.

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Offline Musashi

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2016, 01:39:06 AM »
Go to church and lit a candle before icon of Mother of God.
Seriously it works for me.

Offline wgw

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 05:18:56 AM »
I go to my doctor and ask for a refill on my anti-depressants. So far, it has worked well.

There is a point that should be made here: depression is an actual medical condition, the Orthodox Church believes in psychiatric medicine (see the book Orthodoxy and Pscyhotherapy, writteb by a prominent Orthodox psychiatrist in Greece), we even have operated in Greece and elsewhere some rather successful clinics for drug users and so on.
I believe you are citing Orthodox Psychotherapy by the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, HE Hierotheos.

Actually yes, although I did not realize the author was a Metropolitan.  Many years.

Offline wgw

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 05:24:27 AM »
Go to church and lit a candle before icon of Mother of God.
Seriously it works for me.

This is a good one.   It works for many people.  Also a very good reason to have an icon of her in your home.  An electric, battery operated candle can be used if you face restrictions on having an actual candle or oil lamp.

I like the Mercy Seat icons because you can venerate the Theotokos and worship our Lord in one smooth, integrated action.

Offline hecma925

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2016, 06:04:09 AM »
Go to church and lit a candle before icon of Mother of God.
Seriously it works for me.

This is a good one.   It works for many people.  Also a very good reason to have an icon of her in your home.  An electric, battery operated candle can be used if you face restrictions on having an actual candle or oil lamp.

I like the Mercy Seat icons because you can venerate the Theotokos and worship our Lord in one smooth, integrated action.

But wait!  There's more!
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Offline Indocern

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2016, 06:44:45 AM »
As a Christian, what do you do when you're depressed? To whom do you turn when you feel that you can't find joy in your day anymore?

When I was depressed I go to the priest and he pray over me in the church and I get healed.

Offline Orest

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 09:08:45 AM »
I go to my doctor and ask for a refill on my anti-depressants. So far, it has worked well.
I agree with this post.  Seek professional help asp.  Start with your doctor.  Avail yourself of any work place programmes of "Wellness" that are covered by your health plan. 
In addition to all that when I am still being sad I find listening  to a CD of the "Easter Matins" service very helpful.  In a quiet room with the lights off and my eyes closed. I also find reading the Akathist to Jesus Christ helpful as well.  I have been advised to use music and I chose liturgical music as therapy.  I also was instructed to start journaling.  Now when I look back over the years and re-reading my entries  I amazed what I survived and I do see improvement and progress.  Reaching out to Orthodox Christian friends too and Thank God for my family who understands.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2016, 11:06:22 AM »
Adding some jubilant Psalms to the night prayers usually gives me a spiritual boost.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 11:06:49 AM by RaphaCam »
Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. Return, o Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.

Offline Dominika

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2016, 02:10:22 PM »
I've never been really depressed, probabaly soemtiems I just feel state close to depression, I mean deep sadness of anxiety, caused by sin, by somebody, by difficult situation etc. So, in such cases, depnding on the reason and my state, I:
1. Go to confession or just talk with my priest
2. Say Jesus prayer (if it's something "at this moment")
3 . Listen to church music; even if it's not Paschal time, I have one chosen CD, Pascha on Mount Athos, that I listen when I'm very sad or being very tempted by something
4. This one is not so Christian, but sometiems I just drink wine (or, less frequently, beer) with (one of) my friends
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Offline Musashi

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Re: What do you do when you're depressed?
« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 05:08:22 AM »
I've never been really depressed, probabaly soemtiems I just feel state close to depression, I mean deep sadness of anxiety, caused by sin, by somebody, by difficult situation etc. So, in such cases, depnding on the reason and my state, I:
1. Go to confession or just talk with my priest
2. Say Jesus prayer (if it's something "at this moment")
3 . Listen to church music; even if it's not Paschal time, I have one chosen CD, Pascha on Mount Athos, that I listen when I'm very sad or being very tempted by something
4. This one is not so Christian, but sometiems I just drink wine (or, less frequently, beer) with (one of) my friends

I prefer to number 2 and number 4 :D
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:08:38 AM by Musashi »