- Posted September 26, 2012 by
Ft. Collins, Colorado
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Are you living with depression?
back from the brink (mostly)
One of my parents committed suicide when I was young, so I know what that's like and don't want to put my own children through years of grief and pain.
I want to describe 3 things that have helped me in the hope these things might help others:
1. Light Therapy - I've always been a night owl, constantly late to work, late for everything. I began light therapy (in my case with a Philips GoLite blu) hoping to reset my circadian rhythm and become a 'morning' person. It worked - I'm now rarely late, can get up when I need to, but what I DIDN'T expect was the effect the light therapy has had on my depression. When I began, I was taking 3 antidepressants for 15+ years. After several weeks of regular light therapy, I was able to go off all of them except a low dose of Trazodone which I still take as a sleep aid. I feel substantially better because of it and continue to this day. The light device is not cheap, but is far cheaper than Rx drugs. If you buy it be sure to take the evaluation test online.
2. Eckhart Tolle - an author who has also been there. His book on CD, being able to hear his voice as he recites his works, has talked me down from the ledge in my darkest moments. If you can't afford his books, CDs or DVDs, he has a website. His narration is also on YouTube. You can also get all of the above at many public libraries at no cost.
3. Volunteer as a companion for a hospice - this helped me and those I volunteered for a great deal. It was the best kind of distraction imaginable, and many times it provided more dimension to my life and a long-lasting mood lift as a result. I don't mean to persuade with guilt, but this is an area where volunteers are sorely needed.
I still have dark moments and occasional suicidal thoughts, but fewer. I now take just 1 antidepressant as I mentioned above. For me the side effects from those drugs (and I've tried just about all of them) made it extremely difficult to function in the workplace or anywhere else, so it's a relief to be off them.
I want to send my warmest, kindest thoughts to anyone and everyone reading this. I sincerely hope some or all of these things will help you as they've helped me.