Dear Beth

Insomnia and clinical depression

Happiness is: gorgeous wild flowers adorn Ontario meadow

Beth Mares offers Counselling in Toronto or by telephone re sleep hygiene, panic attacks, feeling like a fake, depression and anxiety. 

hi there beth.
.i don't know if this will help my or not but i need to give other options a try...i live in a small rural area....i think i have lost my marbles. .actually i have been diagnosed by men with adjustment disorder/clinical feb i had a total hysterectomy and have not been the same since..i was a very much in control of my life and surroundings and have always believed that we all control what happens to us..well now some days i can't even get out of bed....i have a panic attack everytime i have to go to planned functions, i even wonder what i am doing here if i can't even function just in the house let alone out or on my job....i am so scared..i have no-one here mom and sister are living [overseas] and my boyfriend thinks i'm a fake...i just don't sleep (as you can tell from time of e-mail) doctors have me on anti-depressants during day and sleeping pills that don't work at night...i had a real bad year and they said my operation was my breaking...the shrink wants to talk about all the disgusting things in my past and i don't know if that will help now....i just feel so useless,scared,phoney and deceiptful cause there is nothing physically wrong with will let me go back to work and that makes me wonder what good am i then...i am good at bawling for no reason and forgetting things...i am only 36 and i don't know how long this will be, my doc's say be patient....but i don't see any light in this hole i am in..darkness is neverending.....thank-you for listening 

Beth answers: 

(1) When you are depressed it feels like it will never change, but almost everyone recovers if they hang in there.

(2) Although you feel like a fake, it is important to know in your rational mind that you are not. Your boyfriend saying this has to be helping to maintain your depression. Don't listen to it.

(3) Your belief that we all control what happens to us is magical thinking and not rational. It could be contributing to your depression. I suggest you discuss it with your therapist. 

(4) Under the right conditions it can be very helpful to work on bad things that happened in the past, but I wonder if you are in a fit state. See the FAQ on childhood trauma on the Psychotherapy page of my website. You might want to get a second opinion from a psychotherapist with a lot of experience with childhood trauma and depression.

(5) When you find something you enjoy or get relief from even a little bit, make a priority of doing it (unless it is counterproductive, like taking street drugs or listening to verbal abuse.)

(6) Make regular exercise a priority. Try to find a kind of exercise that feels good, or at least does not feel like a drag. Exercise is very important for depression and insomnia. It is very important to follow good "sleep hygiene", which you can probably find out about from your therapist. When your sleep improves the other things will be easier; it is very difficult to feel in control of one's life when suffering from insomnia.

Try to eat healthy food. It is important to get the right amount of calcium, magnesium and other nutrients, and enough fluids. Nutritional deficiencies can adversely affect the brain and the emotions. When you have a setback, don't give up. Keep trying.

(7) Hopefully when you make some progress in these areas you will be able to go back to work. That will give you a further boost towards recovery, because not working usually tends to perpetuate depression.

Keep trying--and make sure you take breaks from the real world, even if it involves watching some mindless T.V. programs.



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