176. The 80/80 Strategy Continued

Meditate

The idea of feeling 80 percent of normal 80 percent of the time is not something attractive to people who experience mild to moderate depression and perhaps a bout of serious depression now and again.

But if you’re someone who wakes up in the morning and the first thing out of your mouth is, “Not another day”! and if you’re someone who is crippled by anxiety and smothered by chronic depression, then feeling 80 percent of normal for 80 percent of the time is not a bad gig.

Recently, I read of a person who had just finished trying the 23rd combination of mood stabilizers and antidepressants – not to mention all the psychotherapy, meditation, light therapy, exercise, yoga, and other techniques – and still wanted to die. He was considering transcranial magnetic stimulation or electroconvulsive therapy as a last resort, when he found the right psychiatrist who set a goal of 80/80, and he was able to finally experience a day without death thoughts after two months. Like any field, there are good and bad psychiatrists and everything in between. After my first psychiatrist, who called his many concoctions for me a “witches brew,” I found a good one, and when she no longer was available to me, I was fortunate enough to find a great one. I give her much credit for my overcoming depression. She gave me hope.

My body reacted favorably to the right combination of medications, after some dead ends, and I reached the wonderful place of 80 percent normal. But unlike the man who was able to live again with an 80/80 recovery, God had a different plan for me. For me, 80 percent was stability; and I could take then advantage of a great psychotherapist, great spiritual coaching, and a penetrating series of courses called Bipolar Advantage (though I was not bipolar) to develop the tools and techniques needed to reach 100 percent and stay there.

If you have treatment-resistant depression, don’t give up. There are the right people out there who can help you. You just need to find them. Don’t give up.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
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