I am depressed and have GAD, I know that, but I can't even seem to just live my life. It seems too much effort just to go anywhere or do anything outside of the essentials. I can't seem to figure out how to just get out and do things. I really want to snap out of it so to speak but I just don't have the energy. It is so much easier to hide in the house, but that isn't fair to my kids and it makes me sad for them. Plus they drive me crazy because they need to get out. Then again they complain anytime we do go anywhere too. They just can't be pleased, but I guess that is normal for a 7 and 4 year old.
Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.
Honestly, the only thing that has ever helped me is just making myself do things outside of the house, even when I don't want to.
I know that sounds so simplistic and I wish I had a better answer for you, but it's the truth. I've struggled with depression and apathy since I can remember and really, the only way I can fight my urge to hide from the world forever is to force myself to go outside. Even if it's just for a few minutes. Even if it's just to get the mail, or walk the dog, or do one lap around the park, or get a coffee, or...whatever. I just make myself do it, like I make myself brush my teeth or change a diaper or cook dinner even when I'm bone-tired and want nothing more than to crawl into bed. You just...do it. Because it needs to get done. And taking care of yourself is just as important as caring for everyone else, so don't be afraid to come up with self-pampering reasons why you need to leave the house.
Instead of thinking about how you don't want to go out, or sitting and pondering about how much work and effort it would be to go out, just...go out. Get everyone's shoes on, pack some snacks and water, get your keys, grab your phone or whatever, and just go. You don't need a plan or even a destination. Just go. Do it enough times (every day!) and it will become an ingrained habit.
I know how dully easy this sounds, but it's the only thing that's ever worked for me. You do it because you have to. After you've done it enough, it becomes a habit. And eventually the habit becomes a large part of who you are, which makes lapsing into the old apathy much less likely.
Loving wife and mama to my sweet little son (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl (Fall 2010)
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw
Not sure where you live or what the weather is like....
.....but I try to get out to exercise, purely for health reasons. I know that I'm home a lot, not moving around much except standing indoors, and I start to think about what will happen to my body if it just sits in place and never gets fresh air. So I tell myself, "you will be healthier if you move and stretch your legs....it is essential for health. people in the caveman times could never get away with never moving like this, they had to walk for water, food, etc." So just that horrifying comparison, comparing myself to anyone in the olden days who would have had to move to get things, freaks me out, and I go out to walk. Sigh.
I hate driving, so I normally find places around me I can walk to. What is within walking distance? And I find a reason to walk there, or do it "just for my daily walk."
You can search google or yelp.com for hiking trails in your area, and take your kids on a nature walk. I am getting really into the feeling of just being outside, walking on a trail. Otherwise, I don't do much! Drinking strong coffee helps me get some motivation going. I also like this supplement called L-Tyrosine by Now brand. Saw it on the Dr. Oz show. Take on empty stomach. Doesn't work for everyone, but it gives me energy. Check iherb.com for supplements for energy. Those help me get out the door, like a little kick in the bum.
OP, I feel I should respond to you because I have been there done that. Once upon a time I had chronic fatigue and bouts of depression for nearly 8 years. It was always worse in the winter too.
We are all different and the solutions will be different but I will tell the things that helped me -
St John's Wort tincture - only OK to take if you're NOT on medications I took this for a couple years solid and occasionally thereafter. I have not had any real problems with depression for about 8 years now. I do not get depressed in the winter anymore. I believe SJW has a lot to do with it. The cool thing about it, is it kills viruses that may be contributing to fatigue.It helps combat pain and inflammation, brightens the mood, and gives energy.
American Ginseng, or Siberian Ginseng tincture - these will build up your energy, they will build up the adrenals
spirulina powder in juice or smoothie. Kelp either in cooking or in capsules. Herbal infusions . Buy these in bulk and it's affordable. Do any or all of these things. These are intense nutrients that will help you feel good again.
cod liver oil - Vit D and important brain nutrition. Also, there is evening primrose oil, or chia seed, etc. Good fats are superb for your brain. I think even fats like grass-fed cow butter, and pure meats are good for the brain too.
Don't diet. but don't overeat sugar and junk. By junk, I mean chemical foods and foods that are low in nourishment. Eliminating sugar and white flour really helped me - no more mood swings. Also I learned I have a brain allergy to milk products. I eliminated all milk products for a couple years, and to this day I am careful about how much and what types of dairy I consume. I follow a traditional, local type diet now. ie: Weston A Price, and this is the best way to eat for me. I am so much healthier eating nutrient-dense things and not depriving myself like I used to do. Steer clear of coffee, and perhaps tea too until your body is healthy again. Eat cooked greens, and/or greens in smoothies. Eat good protein with every meal. Farm fresh eggs do wonders for my brain functioning.
Yellow dock syrup. I make this myself. This will give you lots of nutrients as well. It will build up iron levels. Low iron levels can make you fatigued and depressed.
Negative thinking can really weigh you down - literally. Worrying, dreading, complaining, hating, feelings of failure and doubt and shame - they keep you down. Replace them with nourishing thoughts. Find information that will help you do this if you don't know how.
Getting out definitely helps. If and when you can do it - do it. Do it even when you don't feel like it. Don't overtax yourself. Be gentle with yourself. I know that even taking a walk probably sounds impossible. If you can't, don't worry about it. Someday you'll get there. yoga is also something that is SO good for the nervous system.
Once upon a time I ran across a quote that said "Depression is the impression left by fear". It was profound for me at the time.
Voice your feelings. Write them out. Talk to somebody. Do yoga. Pray. Make art. All these things can help move the emotions out of you.
Wear bright colors even if you don't feel like it. Over time, I swear this helps us move out of stuck patterns, moves us towards brightness. May sound woo-woo, but I believe in it.
Read uplifting texts. Surround yourself by things that remind you of the light. Move towards the light. :) Integrate all the parts of you so that ALL of your wants to be happy.
Clean up your environment. The outside is sometimes related to the inside.
Get massages and/or polarity work.
Good luck, there is a way to heal depression and fatigue fully. I promise you that, because I have done it. And I had one of the worst cases around. I was told that it was permanent and there was no way to heal it. Not true. Where there's a will there's a way.
Thank you for the replies. I know a HUGE part of all of this has been a horribly tough few years. DH lost his job 2 years ago and we lost our home, a vehicle, and are about to finally file bankruptcy. I've also struggled with low thyroid and chronic fatigue. Financially things are at a turning point and they are either about to get much worse (I didn't think that was possible) or much better. It is scary, but I am hopeful. That is major right there. I also managed to read 100 pages of a book yesterday which is beyond exciting for me. Thanks to the CFS and thyroid I haven't been able to do more than skim a page or 2 of a book or magazine in many, many years.
Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.
That's certainly a lot to be going through. I wish all the best to you and hope that this turning point is for the better. I SO understand what it's like to not be able to even read. I have been there! Happy to hear you were able to read 100 pages. That's a huge feat! :D
Oof. When you're going through hell, keep on moving. Exercise is a big help. When I can't handle getting out of the house for whatever reason (GAD and PTSD and occasional major depression) I run laps with my kids around the house. It's silly. It feels safe. I do actually get my heart rate up. It's not "optimal" but it is something. I sit in my fenced back yard a lot because sunshine helps too. I also garden a lot. I don't have any other suggestions that aren't steeped in financial privilege. :( I'm sorry.
My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.
I've been there too. As others have mentioned, you've got to force yourself to get out and do things. Even just a walk around the block to look at the flowers, or a trip to the library to check out some books. It'll feel like a drag at first, but then you'll just do it automatically and even get to a point where you enjoy it. Getting exercise and sunlight helps too.
It's such a hokey saying, but I once read somewhere that you should just "pretend" to be the person you want to be until it "takes", and you wake up one day and realize you like where you're at in your life. Another way of saying fake until you make it, I guess. But if you think about it, it's actually not a half bad concept. And keeping that in mind (and practicing it) has helped me work through some pretty down times and sticky situations.
Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things.