Self-medication alternatives when depressed or experiencing depression
Separation ultimately and periodically takes a toll on individuals. There will be moments of stress, anxiety, helplessness and frustration which can leave you feeling depressed or with depression. When these feelings arise, it is very easy to turn to alcohol to escape your feelings, even when the depression is medicated.
What may not be widely known is that alcohol is a depressive substance. If you are already feeling low, it is likely that you will feel even lower after drinking your favourite wine, beer, spirit or spritz.
Your health (physical and mental) is your priority and only you can take the appropriate steps towards the betterment of your situation. Rachael Scharrer, divorce expert and founder of online resource DivorceAnswered.com.au shares simple activities that can assist when your mood is low or depressive. You could try:
- Yoga. Yoga is widely known for its breathing, centring as well as mental, spiritual and physical benefits.
- Meditation. Meditation allows you to find some peace in this busy world. By focusing on breath, it allows your body to calm, relax and find it’s natural rhythm again. It also allows you to find your internal ‘balance’
- Uplifting music. Music is incredibly powerful. If you like auditory stimuli and are feeling low, put on some uplifting or inspirational music. Music can shift your mood quickly and dramatically
- Consult your psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor. Professional advice and assistance is a must for everyone going through challenges (even if it is situational, like the end of a significant relationship). Depending on your situation and feelings, it may be periodic or regular appointments, ongoing or for a limited time.
- Talk with a friend. Venting and getting your feelings off your chest helps everyone. Who you speak with and share with is important. Someone who will listen, be positive, supportive and not judgemental is important. Your confidant also needs to be a person who will not further inflame the situation because that is the last thing you need when you are already struggling
- Exercise for endorphins. The good feeling hormone helps to make everything better. Walk in nature allows you to appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Go for a swim (the ocean is renowned for it’s salt purification)
- Routine and plan. When challenged by depression or feeling depressed, routine is essential. Make a realistic plan for your bed-time and when to wake up. Make arrangements to meet with a friend or have an appointment to hold you accountable in the mornings – by having somewhere you need to be, it will encourage you to get up and start the day.
Simple daily activities can help to improve your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, however, if the issues run deeper, you need to seek professional assistance. Self-medicating with drugs, prescriptions, sleeping pills, sex, alcohol and other substances, do not make the situation, divorce or feelings disappear. They need to be addressed directly and professionally.
Remember to speak with your legal professional or ex-spouse to discuss ways of making the situation or separation better for you – it may be the way that you communicate with each other, perhaps agree to only email about concerns, re-structuring visitations or any other strategy as appropriate for you.
Please seek the advice of your GP or medical professional if you have any concerns or feel like you are struggling, especially if you are planning to stop any medications or re-commence any medications.