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Needing different skillset/ coping mechanisms for depression than for PTSD


I've had (C) PTSD since childhood so over the years I've developed a pretty good skillset/ coping mechanisms for dealing with it.

For a few years now, I've been dealing with depression, which I'm finding is a whole other beast.

Somehow all my hacks for how to deal with PTSD don't help at all with depression, in fact, many of them seem to make the depression worse.

I'll try to give a few exapmles:

With PTSD, for me, planning ahead has always been essential and having a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C to know I'm covering all bases/ all eventualities. With depression, this doesn't work at all. I can only deal with the "here and now" and thinking about the future sends me into a meltdown. I have to "trust" that if I do things okay now, then somehow the future will turn out more or less okay too.

Being in tune with the needs of the people around me and making sure those needs were met was a big part of staying safe, with PTSD. With depression, I can't even take care of my own needs, let alone those of other people and even thinking about it makes my brain shut down.

With PTSD, dissociation was always an option to get things done that I didn't actually feel up to doing. It was like a PTSD superpower that allowed me to achieve and over-achieve. WIth depression that's completely gone and I am utterly under-achieving all the time.

With PTSD, being hypervigilant and hyper aware of "everything" - all the minute cues that other people might miss, was also part of being safe. With depression, noticing too many things sends me into total overwhelm and brain shutdown.

With PTSD, "sucking it up" was always an option and I could put things like feelings aside, in order to reach my goal. With depression, my ability to suck it up seems to have dissapeared into thin air and feelings are unsurmountable obstacles, regardless of how much I "need" to reach a certain goal and ignoring my feelings seems to make them even worse.

With PTSD, there was loads of adrenaline and "fight" mode allowed me to be tough, motivated and assertive. With depression, I have zero adrenaline, zero motivation, zero assertiveness.

So yeah, that's just a few examples, but basically all of my PTSD coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with stuff have turned totally useless and I keep dumbly trying to somehow apply them to this new situation (depression) and none of it is working at all.

I feel like I'm too dumb to even understand the basics of "what to do" about depression.
The key to living alongside my depression is routine. Things don’t happen because I can summon up the dissociative, or the energy, or the avoidance of other stuff - it happens because I have a daily routine which I stick to.

Daily routines are a way of scheduling in essential tasks (like exercise and guided relaxation and meals), so I can make sure I’m doing all the things I need to do to help ease the depression.

The other bonus of having a routine is I don’t need to think about all the things I need to get done today. All I need to worry about is the thing that I’m schedule to do right now.

I built my daily schedule around the schedule that they keep in hospital. They have a very clear schedule when you’re in for exactly the same reason - it’s helpful for mental health, and managing mental illness.
I am totally F.U.C.K.E.D fawked faaaaawked f*cked when it comes to depression.

None of my skill sets, impulses/ personality traits/ sense/ patterns/ use… are any damn use.

It’s a “new” symptom for me (If we can consider a decade “new”?).

The only useful things I have ever managed to learn about it:

- If I don’t take the opportunity to EXPLODE outward, when presented? Expect to lose 72hrs, to 6mo-2years crushing inwards.
- If I’m baking, instead of cooking, watch out!
Cooing skills I know for depression specifically over the last, almost 2 decades

1) learn to acknowledge and then disagree with the inner critic that tells you that you arent doing enough. This also looks like giving yourself permission to do nothing
2) do whatever, dont do whatever, whatever you do just dont do shit that completely f*cks up your future
3) ask for help making decisions. dont make any big ones with out help or not at all if you absolutely dont have to
4) sleep
5) remember feelings change and pass, ebb and flow, like a wave of sound.
6) accept the dips, ride the waves

are those coping skills? i dont know

permission for self-care, i guess is another

not the self care, the permission for self care

basically for me, since im literally always depressed i work on accepting some days i have energy, some days i dont

in bouts of double depression that happen about 3-4 times a year, lasting 7-40ish days or so my main coping skills are sleep and dont f*ck up the future.

live daily. accept i wont be like before or the others and its still okay.

grieving lost potential, grieving what was and could be, i found, not helpful.

acceptance this is.

oh, also (sorry this is so long and probably stupid)
you know how when you try to fall asleep and can't, then you stress that you can't and that makes it harder to fall asleep?

i find the same with depression (normal and deep)
the harder i fight to get out of it, the more distressed i become the worse it gets.

its taken awhile to get to the acceptance of "this is my life now"
because once upon a time i was way more f*cking productive- i had to be

im not now.
the further your actual self is to your imagined self, the more depressed you become

i couldnt get my actual self closer to my imagined self so i brought my imagined self closer to my actual self through acceptance of my self

if any of that makes sense.....
sorry its so long
With PTSD, there was loads of adrenaline and "fight" mode allowed me to be tough, motivated and assertive. With depression, I have zero adrenaline, zero motivation, zero assertiveness.
i consider myself a recovering adrenaline junkie. "chaos junkie" is pretty near to a synonym in my own healing circles. i don't care to defend the theory in front of a doctoral review committee, but the theory holds that by the time i could talk, my vigilance switch was had spent so much time on full alert that the switch got stuck. i was an adrenaline junkie before i could say, "junkie."

adrenaline is a powerful stimulant. depression is part of the detox. my drug dealer lives in my lymphatic system and deals out fixes, whether i can pay for the fixes or? ? ? am i lost in metaphor, AGAIN?!?!?!?!?

the tool i ply to this particular snot knot is a detox diet. the internet is chockful of suggestions. once i get my drug of not-my-choice out of my system, my moods even out.

i don't care to defend this theory set in front of a panel of experts, but it works for me when i work it. alas, it is not a quick fix. it won't work if i don't work it.