10 In A Family

The Ways I Cope with my Depression and Anxiety

*I am not a doctor! The ideas discussed in this blog post are simply my opinion. They are in no way sponsored by any physician, medical professional other company.*

I struggle with depression and anxiety!
There, I said it! It’s out in the open for all to know.
It’s been so long that I can’t even remember fully when it all started.
I didn’t recognize that I had an issue until well into high school, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20’s that I found ways to deal with it.
On my own.
Without prescription medication.

I knew I had a problem, and when I recognized that, I knew I could no longer manage it on my own. I saw several doctors and they all did the same thing… prescribed me drugs. And that’s how I managed my feelings and emotions. For years I took meds that I can’t remember the names of, and probably couldn’t spell if I did remember, and the side-effects were brutal. I didn’t feel sad all the time, but I certainly wasn’t happy either.

Through a lot of trial and error, I found what is right for me and my body.
These are 5 things I do to keep my depression and anxiety in check:

1. Acupuncture

Ten years ago I was having a particularly bad day and needed something to break my negative mood. I was fed-up with taking medications that made me feel lethargic and cranky when they were supposed to make me feel better. So I searched for something alternative.

I remember sitting at my desk through lunch and Google searching alternative methods to treat depression. Then there it was, staring at me in the google search findings, gleaming like a beacon on a foggy coastline. Accupuncture. I made an appointment for that afternoon and it was the best decision I ever made for myself.

Don’t get me wrong, during that first appointment I was in tears from nervousness and questioned every second I was there until the end. But after a long chat with Dr Lee and my first session, I knew things were going to be different for me.

I now visit Dr Lee at least once a month or more if I feel it is needed.

2. Massage

massage-therapy-page3Photo: edgeptandrehab.com

Every other Tuesday my good friend, heck I call her my sister (you can do that when you’ve been friends since you were toddlers) comes to my house and I get a one hour massage. She is a licensed massage therapist and I fully take advantage of that. She only charges me 1/2 of what I would pay going to a spa or a office, and I know her and trust her.

The best part? She comes to my house. My house! I don’t have to drive anywhere. You know when you have a massage and you’re all relaxed and feeling pretty good… and then you have to get in your car and drive yourself home? Ya, The worst! This is so much better.

I bet there are traveling massage therapists in your area, you should go right now and look into it! I promise you won’t regret it.

 

3.  Multi-Vitamins

I’m not usually a vitamin taker. I’ve never liked taking vitamins, especially in the mornings. Seems no matter what vitamin it is I get a queasy stomach after taking them, even with food.

Until I started using the multi-vitamin pack from an essential oil company that doesn’t allow you to use their name in a blog, which is bull sh*t if you ask me… but you didn’t… So no shameless plug for them.

These are the best vitamins I have ever taken.
I have found myself to have more energy.
I don’t get sick to my stomach after I’ve taken them.
I’ve been sleeping better. A little more sleep at night never hurt anyone. This could also be a combination of everything that I am doing, but I’m no doctor so I go with what I feel.

This is a little comparison of my sleep.
You can’t argue with Fitbit Science.

Sleep

 

5. Being Open

The biggest struggle I had when dealing with my depression in the beginning was being open about it. I tried to hide it from everyone I knew and loved. I couldn’t imagine them knowing how I felt. I was embarassed for feeling sad and alone, even though I wasn’t sad and alone. It made me feel angry and I often took that out on those I loved the most, but they didn’t understand. Once I was able to open up and voice my thoughts and feelings to my family and friends about what I had been going through, things got better.

I don’t know if they fully understood how I had been feeling, but I know they now understood that I wasn’t taking my frustrations out on them purposefully, but really felt like I had no control over my emotions and feelings. Knowing that my husband, and my friends and family knew where I was coming from made a huge difference in my transformation to becoming the real me.

So there you have it! Thanks to all that, I haven’t taken an anti-depressant in nearly 10 years!
10 years!!

Seriously, If you are sick and tired of feeling depressed, taking medicines that make you feel like crap or take away a part of you just to make you feel somewhat happy; please know that you have other options. If not these, then maybe something else. You don’t have to feel stuck in a rut, you have options other than over the counter medications.

I don’t think I could do it with only one of these things. For me, it is a combination of all of these things. This is the best combination of treatments I have found for me.

If you struggle with depression or anxiety or any other type of mental illness, don’t be ashamed.
You are not alone.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Lana @ The Joy Blog
    May 6, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I just jumped on the DoTerra bandwagon this year. Balance is INCREDIBLE for my anxiety. If I feel anxious, I rub some on my wrists and inhale from my palms and I feel a surge of calm. Also DigestZen is killer on stomach aches. Anxiety gives me stomach issues, and DigestZen is SO GREAT for mine. I just rub a few drops clockwise on my stomach and instantly feel a soothing sensation. I just got some Elevation, haven’t really used it much yet but am excited to test it out!

    Also, I have to exercise regularly, sleep at the same time every night, and avoid junk food for my anxiety/depression to stay well.

    • Reply
      ChasingZ
      May 6, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Sleep is really important for me too. Have you tried the DigestZen gel caps? So convenient and you don’t smell like anise. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Ladrido
    May 6, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    You are bringing awareness and it shouldn’t be an illness treated with stigma. My son had to retire medically from the military because of this and PTSD. I have an “invisible illness” and I hate taking meds. I am so glad you are no longer on them and found these great tools to help you naturally. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Bethany
    May 6, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you for your openness!! I too have struggled with anxiety and depression and have learned to deal with it in ways besides medication. Meditation is my biggest relief when it comes to these issues, but I’d love to try acupuncture!!

  • Reply
    katie
    May 7, 2015 at 12:57 am

    You’re so brave to admit your struggles so you can help others!

    ​​
    xo katie // a touch of teal

  • Reply
    Stacey Valle
    May 7, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Thank you for sharing! Your ways are interesting and helpful! I haven’t thought of these on the list but I’m aware that being open about it will help you out. thanks for the post!

  • Reply
    ananda
    May 7, 2015 at 3:51 am

    very proud of you!! all these natural ways are so much better and have so many other benefits as well!! xo

  • Reply
    annabelt
    May 7, 2015 at 4:58 am

    I’m a big fan of acupuncture since I had it for back pain once, but I never knew it could treat anxiety and depression too! I have a copy of ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies’ that I dip into from time to time, and wherever I look it has some kind of useful mental health tip or something to practise.

  • Reply
    Sara Borgstede
    May 7, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks so much for your honesty. SO many people struggle with depression and anxiety. I have a post on my website called “Depression is a Liar” written about my depression and my husband’s struggles with depression as a pastor, and it’s the top post on my website by FAR. Goes to show how much of an issue it is. I really appreciate that you offer some different alternatives that have worked for you!

  • Reply
    Rowan
    May 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    You’re amazing 🙂 and brave!!! Not just because you have had acupuncture (I almost needed it once with a back injury and I was so scared!!)

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