a long term approach to systematically dealing with depression and anxiety

simply stephen / May 23, 2012

In 2005 when I had my “big nervous breakdown” and depressive episode(s), I made a decision to focus on my mental and long term health.


It became my life goal to rid myself of depression anxiety and rediscover my purpose and passion in life, a life I was happy with.

healing takes dedicated commitment

Healing is important.

Your mental health is important. It isn’t something you want to take care of part time and forget about the rest of the time. You need to focus on it until you have mastered your issues or at least have to tools to deal with them.

To do that, you have to make a commitment.

It has to go beyond the “I’m feeling better now” approach. You have to dig deep and look at all the answers, issues, skeletons and potential setbacks.

And then you have to dig even deeper.

Along with that you need to develop a long term plan to recovery. Part of the plan needed to be flexible. It couldn’t be filled with unrealistic expectations (a set up for disappointment and a return of the depression).

For example, I wanted to deal with the skeletons. I wanted to do it without medication. I wanted to grow, change and learn. I wanted to make my life a happy one. One I was in control of. I wanted to start achieving some life goals, aspirations and dreams. I wanted to break from the crowd and run my own life, one without reliance on the faulty social structures and systems currently in place. I wanted to be a pioneer and learn as much as I can about alternative ways to live.

After all, it’s never to late to do something new.

Your goals are probably different than mine. Maybe you just want to be depression free with 2.3 children and a small dog and tiny white picket fence. It’s all good, to have a dream and vision of what you want.

There were many things to deal with and I am still currently addressing the final issues, which are now mostly more of a personal growth or stages in life type deal – gaining focus and generating income through my own freelance work and websites.

There is one remaining obstacle – chronic fatigue.

It has perplexed me and the doctors.

One day I am fine, the next I am exhausted. One month is great, the following is awful. There seems to be no pattern. At least not one I have discovered yet. So currently, I deal with it by trying to maintain healthy eating, exercise and habits.

This deserves a whole series of posts at a later date.

It’s been almost 2 years with very little in the way of depression and anxiety. My “social misfit” attitude is still strong, but really it’s just a part of my character, beliefs and values.

what can you do to become depression and anxiety free

There are many steps you will need to take to become depression and anxiety free. They may never really leave you, but if you work on having the right tools and know what support structures are available, you will always have a way to beat them quickly back to submission.

Here’s a small list of things to do, by no means an absolute, exclusive list (add and detract what you need to fit your blueprint in life):

  1. get a proper medical assessment (get a second opinion if you are not satisfied)
  2. commit to a complete recovery (that means facing the reasons you are depressed and anxious)
  3. start to understand your mind and behaviour
  4. understand the main causes of mental health issues
  5. look forward not back (eliminate anger, forgive and be prepared to move on with the life you deserve)
  6. learn about the steps to recovery and treatment options
  7. list the items you need to take care of
  8. practice – don’t hide in a cave or give lip service about understanding your issues
  9. find positives and passions in your life *THIS IS A BIG STEP TO FINDING HAPPINESS
  10. build a new better future (Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 75).
  11. reassess (frequently and realistically)
  12. learn from your failures (It took Edison 1800 attempts to create the light bulb, and he learned from each one)

that’s all for now….your list will include many more things but only you can create your approach. As with school, nobody is going to take your test for you or do your studying. It’s up to you.

You create your system.

You envision your program.

You control your recovery by the effort and dedication to implement a successful plan.

It will take trial and error and you will have to open your mind to learn from your mistakes and adapt to overcome it.

But it’s more than possible. I’m proof. I know it can be done and I’m here to help anyone that wants to help themselves. Ask me anything by contacting me directly community AT simplystephen DOT ca with the subject line “cope with life question” and I will attempt to answer you via email or in a blog post as quickly as possible (since I live off grid I am not tuned into the web on a daily basis).

Here’s to your recovery.

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