Advice on keeping it together/productive while depressed?

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
I am definitely having a wave of depression coming on. The weather is nice, the situation seems like it is/might be going in better direction, slowly... but I am having super hard time keeping vertical, staying out of bed, working, cleaning...everything. Everything feels hard, everything feels like a bit task no matter how much time it takes. Tried to call the mental health center but it keeps being busy. I am on medication, which I suppose has kept me from completely falling apart. But this is in no shape good.

I find it hard to do the things that must get done, which means I don't get to do any of the optional things(working on goals) and those are the only things that can keep me going. Most things seem pointless, and I often feel like I need something to keep going. I spend too much time in bed. I work online, but in good times, that also means working in cafes or with a friend... can't do that now, and my desk is 2m from my bed. I can put a zillion alarms, but I keep missing them and I'm finding it hard to snap out of this state and wake any time before 10am .... maybe 9:30 on a good day. Half of the time I want to curl up in bed and I feel like I'm sleepwalking through my days. Some things are 'workable' hard, which means they do get done(dishes), and other ones are getting harder and harder and they do get done but not as often as usual. My work productivity is almost non-existent, everything is going so slow. I am so behind(I have flexibility to do so, but I am dragging through one project for weeks, project that would have been done in 1week otherwise. I just... how do I keep it together, or get better? Seems like this is the perfect time to be walking out in the sun, but in this state somehow it feels like torture. I also feel ashamed of how I feel which makes it hard to be outside without thinking I don't want anyone seeing me like this...
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
Sending supportive thoughts @SeekingAfrica
It’s hard to struggle with shame, but reading this I don’t think you have anything to be ashamed of. Sounds like you’re doing your best to ride out shitty feelings and reaching out for help to do that. That’s a brave thing and shows real awareness that this is something happening now but not always. That’s pretty damn impressive thinking despite hitting a depressive patch.

Have you got a routine that could help you keep on track? Maybe set small gaols to go and stand outside in the sun with a cup of coffee for just five minutes at first? Or if you have a favourite music track that gives you strength say you’ll go outside and listen to that?
Small steps and be kind to yourself if you can.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I say try and take it easy. Accept you are depressed and leave yourself alone. All of this what am I getting done and striving made me feel worse when I was depressed. As you feel better, more things get done. I don't find things help me with depression. Getting rid of depression helps me with things.

I hope you feel better. Take the day off. It's really hard for me still and I'm not depressed. I can play the guitar all day. This is doing nothing, but I'm happy to do it. I won't watch TV. I won't play video games. I gave those up years back. Even cleaning is doing nothing, but I like it.

Depression is awful and I think it's ok to make any allowance possible. : )
 

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
I say try and take it easy. Accept you are depressed and leave yourself alone.
Thanks! I wish I could, but there are things that I can't really push aside- I live with roommate, I need to clean, especailly in current times. I am single, no one to cut the slack. I want clean dishes, cooked food, clean clothes- it's on me. My work isn't super pressing so I am lucky, but I've been moving towards this state for weeks, and I should somehow get work done, because I am lucky to have it.

But at the same time depression doesn't care about all that. I'm in that foggy depression state where your apartment could be on fire and it's still hard to move. Gave myself 3-4 cleaning mini tasks for the day and took me all the strength to be upright- and I swear my body was hurting from that. I think I get all in knots when stressed and that might be why. I'm trying to walk that very thin line between I'm too depressed so I gotta let some things go, and 'some things still need doing'. It's exhausting. I'm trying to relax about it somehow.

Have you got a routine that could help you keep on track?
The current situation we all are aware of turned my routine upside down(as I started having to arange my day around curfew, lockdown and reduced working hours of stores). It was the opposite routine to my bio needs so took me weeks to adjust that daily rhythm. Now we can finally start getting at least some normalcy back- but I'm having trouble adapting back. There have been so many changes in the last weeks I feel like my brain is frozen in anticipation of being told another change I need to make and hence- having trouble believing that I can finally make a routine change for myself and that the world won't flipflop into another unknown the moment I do (do I even need to say that I am also having some anxiety from the current state of the world?). So... how do I create sustainable routine if I don't know how the world may change around me? I feel so strained of constant changes in the world the last 2 months. How am I suppose to work on myself and relax when everything is changing all the time? What can I keep stable or sustain in all this? I'm really struggling keeping it together if I'm present and not in depression fog. Like, today I went to the store for 15m, did few cleaning tasks and wrote all this and all my muscles are in knots of pain and all I want to do is sleep...
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
today I went to the store for 15m, did few cleaning tasks and wrote all this and all my muscles are in knots of pain and all I want to do is sleep...

This bit at the end says everything - despite all the rubbish that you are dealing with look what you did! You have every right to be proud of yourself for managing that - you did something you didn’t want to do and achieved several key things while feeling bad.
There is no reason why you can’t now reward yourself with sleep. You did good.

I know routines are really hard at the moment. I am working from home and too many days its a struggle but the better days are when I have made myself get up and keep to some simple goals.

I hope these feelings let up a bit for you soon. Have you got a T you can touch base with?
 

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
This bit at the end says everything - despite all the rubbish that you are dealing with look what you did!
Thank you! I did no work-work though. Planning to try doing some this weekend, but with all going on my productivity is down to like half of what I usually do. Nevertheless, I finished the day with hot shower and I think I am just so done. I've been resisting these waves and trying to be productive for weeks and now I reached that point. Now I need to let off some of it. Planning nothing but watching and reading tonight, and as much sleep as can be. Even if that means a nap and then 10-11h- whatever my body needs. I just need to let go of trying anything for a moment, recharge, expect nothing for a moment. Then hopefully I'll have some energy for work. I have also decided to stop torturing myself and add nap mid-day on days when I am trying to be productive in spite of this, see if it may help my current needs. I had forgotten how exhausting depression is when it lasts more than couple of days.

I hope these feelings let up a bit for you soon. Have you got a T you can touch base with?
Actually I do think it was helpful, realising that some of this stemmed from actual feelings about the situation. That it wasn't just a random wave right now. I talk to my T on phone sometimes, but there facility is working in shifts right now. So you can only talk to whoever is on shift(weekly rotating shifts, not daily). Nevertheless, the women here are nice, and although I won't get into full mental history with them, I can talk to whoever is there about the feelings about the current situation as we are all going through it. I did that once and actually cried at whoever kind person was on the other end, and it was helpful somewhat. I try to do that once a week despite of the odd feeling I have about doing this on the phone. It's been somewhat helpful although it doesn't really match in person interraction- but it is what it is, right? Anyway. I am still here. And I am still trying, and that is all I know for sure.
Except tonight. Tonight I'm watching and sleeping. Lots of both, probably.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
Also in the battle with you. The pandemic is stirring up depression. I am trying to fuel my brain with things it is missing. A schedule helps me - with a habit chain. Every time I do the cleaning for the day, I get to add another link on the habit chain. There are some cool habit chain apps. I don't want to break the chain and somehow it is an extra push to do all the things I do not have any motivation to do. I need some structure so I plan certain things at certain times of the day, and some things to mark the days. Fridays are the day I walk in one area, just to mark it as Friday, and that seems to help add a little back of what my brain is missing.

Nothing to be ashamed about feeling. Instead, I hope you feel proud you are reaching out and problem solving how to get through this time, and letting yourself feel and take some good steps towards good self care too. Well done. I hope things ease up soon.
 

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
Anxiety and mood management are key. Those along with self care are a fall back position to strengthen/reinforce yourself. A lot of the times don't "think I'm as strong" as I am. I suspect the same for your as well, particularly in light of your struggles... last year?
 
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