What to Do During the Middle Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressants to Kick In

Image: Harmony in Red (The Dessert) by Henri Matisse

Harmony in Red (The Dessert) by Henri Matisse

Chances are you’re not having quite so many devastatingly low days now. You’re functioning a little better overall, but you’re still not ready to run any marathons yet or run for public office. Don’t worry about it – this recovery takes time, and it happens so subtly you may not notice it till someone else points it out. You’re probably still not eager to spend too much time outside your home, but the cyberworld provides many diversions (you can wander around it in your pajamas, and no one will know). I’ve found that things of beauty are both soothing and refreshing at this point, so that’s where we’ll start first.

Art/History

Image: Reuben by Marc Chagall

Fitness(Mental and Physical)

  • Paradoxically, it’s during this time when most depressed people are beginning to feel better that some attempt suicide. This is due to the fact that while someone is profoundly depressed, they don’t have the energy or clear mental processes necessary to plan and carry out a suicide. Please remember, if you begin to have suicidal thoughts, that there are people available to help you deal with your feelings. SA\VE – Suicide Awareness\Voices of Education is a web page which provides suicide education and support.
  • The philosophy behind holistic medicine, that we should treat the body as a whole entity instead of just addressing the sick “part”, is appropriate both for treating depression and for this stage in your recovery. De-stressing is important, since it will relieve the depression to some extent. To this end, think about exercising. I know it’s hard to even keep up with normal stuff, but even a half hour walking a few times a week should help. I hateto exercise, but I’ve been forcing myself to do it for the last couple of years since it makes such a difference in whether I slide back into depression during stressful times.Image:Wheatfield with Crows by Vincent Van Gogh
    • If you’re not ready for aerobic exercise yet, get your body ready by doing some stretches. Yoga Class and Yoga.com have a lot of good info.
  • You might be ready to stretch spiritually or re-discover your faith. About.com’s Religion section is a good place to start. The ORCT (Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance) page covers many aspects and issues of many different religions. Interlude: An Internet Retreat is a site with inspirational meditations, prayers and poetry. My favorite is the Native American prayers.

The World Outside

Music

  • In keeping with this page’s theme of bringing the outside world in to soothe and stimulate you, I highly recommend listening to sounds of nature, either alone or mixed with new-age music. I myself love listening to either the sounds of the ocean, to rain or a mountain stream (hard to believe I wasn’t born under a water sign!).

Reading

  • The Power of Myth is a life-altering book that sprang from a series of conversations between Bill Moyers and mythologist/storyteller Joseph Campbell, and is said to have inspired George Lucas to create Star Wars.

Socializing

  • How about just “pretend” socializing? The Sims 2 is a game that lets you create a family or a single person. You can either make them into an anti-social loner or the life of the party. It’s very addictive.
  • You’re probably not ready to meet people in real life, so how about getting to know some people online?
    • Join an online community that revolves around a passion or hobby. I spend a lot of time at Ravelry, a knitting and crochet community.
    • Online games are a good way to socialize without going outside. I play a Gnome Warlock, among other characters, on World of Warcraft. If you’re more of a fantasy purist, there’s Lord of the Rings Online.

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