How to Recover from Depression or Anxiety Episodes

Wondering how you could be feeling as if you were worthless, helpless or in danger one moment and feel the opposite the next?  You might be a person who is mildly effected but many people are disabled by these shocking changes.  One key to learning to be less tortured by these painful problems is to try to identify ‘triggers’ that lead to the different emotional states.  For example, consider how your beliefs about yourself, others, or the world can lead to these hurtful experiences.

1. When you are feeling ‘normal’, meaning you are doing reasonably well with manageable feelings and being able to perform reasonably well chances are you are influenced by beliefs such as: “If I am having difficulty with this task, then this is often the human experience and I am often able to work through this most of the time. 

2. However, what are likely to experience while you are believing " if I am having trouble accomplishing this situation then it means I am doomed, crazy,or  inferior”?   Which set of these “if—then” beliefs will create the best results?  You need to learn how you sabotage yourself “for ‘good’ reasons” by the set of negative beliefs and to keep a log about how you think when you feel normal and the opposite. 

3. Do you have beliefs that it’s in your DNA that you are more dysfunctional and have very negative emotions which might spiral into disability or social rejection?  Many of your beliefs are habits you learned unwittingly, maybe when you were young and these thoughts served to make the ‘best’ of what was going on, but you learned newer beliefs as you grew older.  If you strongly believe things are hopeless then you need to work on this, possibly with a therapist.

I suggest you keep an ‘if……..then‘ log each day to see if you can ‘catch’ yourself  creating evaluations, mostly spontaneously, and often without your conscious knowledge, that are likely to maintain states of anxiety or depression or feeling ‘ok’.  If you feel anxious look for: "If I can’t follow through with these tasks, then I’m going to have something very bad happen." If you feel depressed, the prediction might be: "If I can’t complete this assignment then it means I’m worthless and doomed.

I have purposely taken the extremes of the beliefs you have and you might not be aware of that much negativity but you will notice that at the times you feel really down and out, compared to those you feel ‘ok’ your beliefs are quite different.

I welcome your comments or questions about your own experiences.

I am a licensed therapist in Orange County, servicing Huntington Beach and area. My services include anxiety therapy and depression treatment.

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One Response to “How to Recover from Depression or Anxiety Episodes”

  1. Christian Counselor Sep 18, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    Well explained on depression and anxiety. The third point of your article is very impressive.

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