Thursday, September 25, 2008

Treating ourselves

One thing I always try to get my patients to do is to schedule a pleasant activity into everyday. Something that gives a sense of enjoyment or achievement.

Sounds easy, right?

Not so when you're battling a depression, probably lacking motivation and finding it hard to find enjoyment in anything. Not wanting to do anything can add to a sense of hopelessness, which, in turn exacerbates the depression, resulting in less motivation to do anything and so on and so on.

It's extremely important to try and break that depressive cycle and, when people do, they often find they can get some degree of pleasure.

It's not a bad strategy for all of us really. How many of us are snowed under by family, work and social commitments to the point that we neglect to 'self-care' ourselves?

I know I'm guilty. So, I'm going to make a concerted effort to set aside half an hour each day to do something because I really want to, not because I have to. To select something for pure, personal pleasure. Today, I think I might tuck myself away in the depths of the garden, with a good book and no phone.

What about you?


Anonymous said...

Oh excellent post HP! I think I may do this myself. Thank you!

phd in yogurtry said...

I keep a Pleasant Events List as a handout, with nearly 200 fairly accessable ideas (group effort by myself and another psych who gathered ideas from group Tx members). I'd be happy to share, if you've got MS Word.

PATRICK said...

In 1994, due to my feeling depressed and suicidal...I saw a counselor.

I had spent all my childhood in orphanages in England & Australia.

He helped me process my feelings...he had processed his own history. I did years of group therapy (INNER CHILD) & EMDR.

All I knew from my childhood was FEAR, PAIN, SHAME & GUILT...I was able to process these feelings and get support from other people in my therapy group.

Four years ago, I dropped into a "black hole" and had to be hospitalized.... I had 4 months of ABSOLUTE TERROR: I thought I was in HELL.

One day I asked JESUS CHRIST to have mercy on me and forgive me my sins. Slowly all my fear and guilt has dissipated and today...I'm happy joyous & free.

What I had learned from my process in Hospital.... was what it was like for me as a child.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3: 16]


Awake In Rochester said...

I can see where that can be difficult. When I was in depression I didn't even want to go outdoors, or see anyone.

I think it's a good idea though.

Psychgrad said...

I'd be interested in the pleasant events list.

Does blogging count as a treat? What is it becomes a "to do" item?

Anonymous said...

The symptoms of depressions vary from person to person. Some may get rid of it easily while some are not able to get over it for a long time. The first symptom is change in behavior. When somebody behaves in a strange way than normally he does. He is supposed to be under depression.