I’m a chronic pain sufferer. It’s a great mental strain if I feel bad physically. If I have depression, regular activities in my life help, such as appointments with the physiotherapist, doing the shopping, or appointments with a doctor. They help me to get out. When I go shopping, I don’t do all the shopping at once, but go every day to get the things I need. This forces me to go out every day. I try to meet friends and other people I know regularly or to talk with them on the phone. That’s very important for me, and talking helps me.
If I am angry about something I don’t bottle everything up anymore the way I used to, but settle it right away. I have also learned to do autogenic training. It’s good for me.
I enjoy planning things, for instance going to the zoo with friends, meeting old colleagues in town for a coffee or going Nordic walking. I always have things to do. I look after the shared garden. I sometimes find it difficult because of the pain, but I always try and get it done. It also helps when I’m having depressive thoughts. If the weather is good, I try to have breakfast outside, in the garden, to get some light in the morning, and to enjoy the peace and quiet.
You shouldn’t feel reluctant to go and see a psychotherapist. And if you don’t get on with your therapist, you can always switch therapists. But you have to be prepared to do something yourself in therapy. The therapist can’t solve the problem for you. A therapy session is not a nice little chat. You have to work on yourself, and it sounds funny, but therapy should also be enjoyable. It is good to have a little laugh once in a while.
When it became clear that I had depression, I was flabbergasted. It hadn’t occurred to me at all. I had always thought I felt so bad because of my body and being overweight. I have now accepted depression as being part of my life, and try to make the best of it.