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Functioning with depression tips?

Things are quickly starting to get out of control, how do I cope? I am waiting on work project (so not fully out of work but...). I can't afford to not have income, I have to make one. I've been creative in the past. Not sure I was this depressed. Maybe I was.

Got couple of ideas (maybe/possibly/hoping) to get me couple of bucks, but everything takes time.
And when you're depressed applications are a minefileld.
And creative work is hard because my mind feels so sluggish and foggy.

Cleaning, working out, socializing all feel pointless. Going out for errands feels pointless. It's like I've forgotten why I do stuff.
I can reduce my to-do list, but how do I break down projects and push to do more work, when doing any feels like I'll never get paid? I know logically I need to clean, and keep things in order as to reduce the mess it will be when I begin to care- and because I have to travel in a week and I'll care how I leave the place.
AND YET how do I make myself do any of that stuff? I made habit tracker for simple things like doing the bed, and once again I can't remember what was the point of doing the tasks I wrote down.
 
May I ask how old you are?

I'm 47 and have been in perimenopause for the last 4 years and it's turned my previous burden of PTSD from childhood trauma which was large, but manageable into a totally and utterly unmanageable mess in terms of depression due to the shift in hormones.

I was taking HRT for a while, which helped, then went off it again cos of some issues and my depression got soooooo much worse again. I've just gone back on it this week because my depression is utterly off the scale... Saw a new pdoc last week and was given a depression questionaire and I maxed out the scale and she was like "You need to go inpatient NOW" and I was like "I can't - I live on a farm and have animals that I can't relocate for a hospital stay"...

Going back on the HRT hasn't magically fixed all my issues, but my depression is now back in the "manageable" range again.

Any women going through a massive worsening of their previous mental health systems who are 40+ I urge to consider whether peri/menopause may be worsening your symptoms, as it did for me.
 
my current mental health crisis ALWAYS feels worse than any which came before. i don't get to change the past and the current crisis is the one i can actually do something about, it it deserves my full focus, anyway, so i let that be okay.

in the case of depression, i find that gently nudging myself to do one or three of those "pointless" activities helps me jump the hump.

steadying support while you find what works for you.
 
May I ask how old you are?
34 and no reason to believe it's women hormones, everything is up to date in that department. At least that one part of my life is fine, lol.
Sorry you had to go through that though, but glad you found the reason.

But I have struggled with waves and dips of depression since I was a kid (got really obvious in my teens- if I had education for mental health). Then it's been bouts and waves. Especially with the PTSD and the general world state. However it is mostly more gradual, like I don't know I've changed my habits and slipped into it, this time it was a sharp dip after 1 trigger (that I dealt with??) and few problems at the same day. And since then...
THIS.

i find that gently nudging myself to do one or three of those "pointless" activities helps me jump the hump.
Thanks. Thought it wasn't a point- obviously. Still hard to move to the work search, business and working out (hardest ones). But I did do few normal daily tasks, 2 tough talks and few errands. So you were right on that count, at least I did something.
I'll try for work tomorrow. I usually feel too much so feeling numb feels horryfying to me to be honest. Empty. Might be why I have more coping strategies for anxiety. Cause then I want to do stuff, I'm just anxieious, so not that it's easy- but I'm finding some work-arounds. When you don't want to do stuff you forget why you wanted them. It's bleak.
I will try for the same amount of stuff from today plus some work in whatever form tomorrw.
Please pray for me/keep your fingers crossed or whatever you believe in.
This time I need to resurface on my own.
 
I saw this today and had to think of you


Because you were questioning whether medium-sized artistic skills can be "enough"... I think the work this woman does is amazing... Taking dolls that are objectifying and horrid and giving them real, honest, humble human faces... I assume the artistic "skills" that she needs to do this work aren't huge, but it's work that can make a huge impact on how kids perceive dolls and thereby themselves. And she obviously makes a living from it too.

I hope it's a bit inspirational in the sense of someone "just" doing what comes naturally to them and what they think is important, gets valued an can be a viable source of income.

I understand the struggle of self-employment combined with mental health issues tho... I've always combined my freelance work with a menial job that pays the rent so that I'm not under so much pressure. I'm also lucky to live in a country where disability payments are available for those times where I'm too ill to work at all. It's still a scary time tho, because disability payments only cover the barest of minimums, so I understand the existential stress of it.
 
I understand the struggle of self-employment combined with mental health issues tho...
for my therapy nickel, this one was an even trade-off. on the advantage side, i was able to field my psychotic episodes and mental health needs without having to explain or justify them to co-workers or bosses. on the disadvantage side, the constant stress of the "feast or famine" aspect didn't help my stability a bit. weathering the pressure of too many deadlines was almost as wicked as the worry of not enough income during the famine stretches.
I've always combined my freelance work with a menial job that pays the rent so that I'm not under so much pressure.
this strategy worked well for me. in addition to the more stable income base, the menial jobs helped keep me from isolating. in addition, networking with other contractors helped tremendously. i was able to hand off a few of the deadlines during the feast periods and able to take on a few of their deadlines during the famine stretches.
questioning whether medium-sized artistic skills can be "enough"...
the lion's share of my own contracting income was in computer graphics. i went to drafting school with several enormously-sized art talents. after graduation, i earned far more money than any of them because the point of contracting is not promoting your own talent but in helping the clients work their own visions. my "lesser" art talent was far less distracting in that step. the enormously-sized talents always had their own internal vision blocking the client's view. providing good service is not about blowing your own proverbial horn.
 
I understand the struggle of self-employment combined with mental health issues tho... I've always combined my freelance work with a menial job
True. But we are where we are and this is my situation right now.
I got PTSD before graduation so for many year I had severe anxiety and these jobs weren't an option again until recently (they don't come as easy in bad times to me unless I already have them when the bad times begin). Nevertheless I may try to find one, once I'm back from my trip (check employment forum if interested of the bigger story) after 17th.
I hope it's a bit inspirational in the sense of someone "just" doing what comes naturally to them and what they think is important, gets valued an can be a viable source of income.
It is actually though having the kind of following she has takes longer than few weeks in my experience.
But experience no longer matters since my situation has once again changed.
is not promoting your own talent but in helping the clients work their own visions. my "lesser" art talent was far less distracting in that step.
That I have found to be true actually.

Anyway, while I was in my fog, suddenly few things changed and now I'm mostly out of any income until 1st of 6th of October (the joy,....) and still have the trip and all monthly bills to cope with. Had to ask parents for the trip one-day (now it will have to be 2-way) because genuinely- I have to go for documents so it's not optional. Everything else doesn't care if I am depressed and without work either, I'll have to fast figure out different online jobs and the store so I can 'make it;' until October and don't get evicted. I mean I am planning switch in apartments, but without savings October is too soon.
I have no choice. I have to learn how to work with my depression and earn enough before October. Way before.
 
Started making digital products and discovered I have forgotten how to design things (not in the practical sense, it's easy nowdays with Canva for now) but I mean in making up a design I would actually like.
And I get exhausted so fast. But I will work on it.
 
Could you chart each small achievement here and sort of get gold stars and stickers and yays! from us as motivation and encouragement and recognition and accountability? For me, if I was going through a really bad stretch, getting some external validation like that for each achieved task would be helpful (especially for inner kid) in a time where I'm struggling to generate internal validation cos of depression.
 
Could you chart each small achievement here and sort of get gold stars and stickers and yays! from us as motivation and encouragement and recognition and accountability? For me, if I was going through a really bad stretch, getting some external validation like that for each achieved task would be helpful (especially for inner kid) in a time where I'm struggling to generate internal validation cos of depression.
Here in this thread or do I need a new one? Might not mind that for a few days, there has been a lot of name-calling myself, and now that I'm trying to do stuff a lot of hating on the situation reality and wanting to hide. No wonder I had resolved to staying in bed. Starting tooth antibiotics today again, so yeah, things are not very joyful, I guess I can use support.

Question though, what really counts as an achievement? Are we talking 'applied for 1 job' here, or what?
Depression is weird, some days I manage some things, some others. Today I managed dishes and laundry, a call to my dentist, designing 2 bookmarks- though I don't like either but it was a start. ... but still can't get to tidying up or more work or working out.
Since it can only be done at my night hours I will now attempt to work the only workly paid gig I have left for couple of hours to make few bucks (literally- I make about 2$/h there. Though my focus is awful so that can be a factor. All other gigs I need to apply to one by one in day hours.
 
Question though, what really counts as an achievement? Depression is weird, some days I manage some things, some others.
Yeah, I get that... It's hard to say... Some days taking a shower is something I do without thinking about it... It's a 3 minute task... Other days it's like it's an insurmountable hurdle and it's not as essential as getting some food into me, so I have to let it go... I don't think there's a perfect way of working out what's an achievement on what level of depression day... Just trust your instinct on it and guesstimate...

dishes and laundry, a call to my dentist, designing 2 bookmarks
Hey that's pretty cool for a depression day! 🙂🧡

Dishes 🍽️🥛🍽️🥣🥄
Laundry 👚👕👖🩳👢
Phone call ☎️
Design work 📖✏️

Nice going! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Now... how about some all important self-care? Investing in yourself. And nope, just "taking a break" doesn't count. It has to be doing something good/ nice that actually makes you feel a tiny bit better (if possible).

Here in this thread or do I need a new one?

Maybe see what responses you get here or start a new thread asking for external validation and cheerleading during a particularly bad depression phase?
 
Now... how about some all important self-care?
Hi! I decided to make a thread. In any case, yesterday I took a break to dance for 20 min. I go to ballet and our classes are 90min so that was nothing. Didn't even dress. Just put wireless headphones and did whatever I felt like.
But it was something because I haven't been connected to myself in like 10 days. Or done anything more than walk to the grocery store and back. So it was nice to listen to my playlists, move a bit. Hoping I'll do an actual workout today when I don't feel nauseous from the antibiotic, but let's see.

Thank you for being so cool and thinking that what I did mattered, I feel so behind on life so it helps.
 
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