I belong to a Linked in group that concerns itself with the treatment of anxiety and depression. A few weeks back I posted the following question: could you tell me what is the greatest tool, other than medication, that you use to help those with depression or anxiety come out of their dark clouds?
For the next few blogs, I’ll relate some of the answers.
“I have severe OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] which fluctuates, but I got over clinical depression 15 years ago by doing the following:
- I saw a homeopath who knew how to help those with OCD and depression and she helped me to talk about the things which really upset me. Talking to her made me realize exactly what I wanted to achieve though it took me a couple of years to get there.
- My main aim was to go to University and get a BA at least. It took 11 years but I got a BA, an MA and a PhD. It was hard work and I almost gave up many times but the research was a great help for stopping my depression from returning and keeping my OCD under control because it occupied my brain, leaving less time for ruminating.
- I spend most of my spare time gardening as it is such a nurturing hobby. Growing plants and watching them flourish is very satisfying and the challenges which gardening brings helps to get things into perspective. Making the garden into a tranquil safe place has had huge benefits in that it has attracted wild life (birds and small mammals) which I can watch from my windows when the weather is bad.
- These pursuits have made a huge difference to my life. The depression never returned and I do have respite from my OCD for long periods, as well as wonderful absorbing hobbies to help bring it under control.
- I have some online forums which I run which bring together people with OCD as well as depression, anxiety and other disorders. Sharing and talking about hobbies really helps. Sufferers reap huge rewards from sharing as it helps to end isolation.” Anne Watkins, editor of The OCD Project, Exeter, United Kingdom