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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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I am currently seeing an excellent GP who has an exceptional

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I am currently seeing an excellent GP who has an exceptional understanding of a depression/anxiety disorder, and am currently taking several medications to stabilise myself. I am,however, very lonely, even though I have been married (very happily!!) for 20 years, as all my friends and family seem to have deserted me........I have just changed psychologists for varying reasons after two years, but have not yet had a meeting with her,and will not until end of September. I have not had anyone to really talk to since mid July. I will not burden my husband with the dark thoughts I have on the "bad days". What can I do to get myself out of this terrible dark place, apart from the obvious.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 4 years ago.
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Lori Gephart :

Hello, I'm happy to talk with you. I am working on your question now.

Customer :

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Lori Gephart :

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.


 


I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. I am glad to hear that you are taking your medication and have an appointment scheduled to resume therapy. The following information may be helpful to you in the meantime:


 


What to do if you may be depressed.


 


1. Identify that you want to change this pattern of negativity in your life. This is a powerful and courageous decision. Have a thorough assessment from a qualified clinician (medical doctor, psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Some good resources are: your HMO, local mental health agency or hospital, Primary Care Physician, or a professional source that you trust.


2. When necessary, begin the process of therapy, which can be short term or long term. Therapy is a partnership between an individual and a therapist, a shared experience of mutual trust and confidentiality. The therapist is a good listener and support person. The process of self reflection in therapy enables a person to sort out both positive and negative feelings. It can help improve communication and encourage expression of hidden feelings that have caused sadness. As a person becomes aware of the problems causing the depression, develops solution strategies, has more self understanding and compassion, the door is open for a change in belief system.


3. Learning what triggers negative thoughts is a key factor. Depression can be experienced in cycles, with different intensities. Cycles of the seasons, holidays, and aging cycles can trigger depression. People prone to depression may get more depressed when their life changes (i.e. a move, job change or a loss) or when there is a health or relationship crisis.


4. Changing one’s habitual thinking patterns is important. Recycling the negative thoughts over and over also reinforces the depression. Continually thinking that “Life will never get better.” Or “I will always be a failure.” influences the depth and length of the depression. Therefore, changing one’s thinking patterns from self judgment to compassion, from hopelessness to hopeful is necessary. Therapeutic techniques that reframe negative thinking i.e., cognitive exercises, positive reinforcement, breathing, meditative and relaxation exercises, as well as other therapeutic techniques, all seem quite beneficial.


5. Understanding how to “empower yourself” by taking responsibility for your own health and well being, while not blaming others for your problems is critical. Disconnecting from the negative patterns which keeps you powerless and focusing on positive life patterning helps to increase self esteem, i.e., healthy diet and exercise regimen; fulfilling and joyful connection to family and friends, a sense of humor, involvement in hobbies, music, theater, dance, art; relaxation techniques, positive affirmations, yoga, TaiChi; having someone to confide in, asking for help, reaching out to help others, joining a support group, improving communication within relationships and learning to problem-solve. And there are many more. You can use your own creativity to bring the positive into your life. Sometimes you just need someone to help light the way.


 


Exercise, eating right and journaling can all be good ways of dealing with the feelings that you are experiencing. If you feel that you need to share feelings, you might try writing a letter to yourself and then writing a letter back as if you were responding to someone you care about. This can often be helpful to allow you to begin nurturing yourself. Also, if things get to be too difficult, reach out to a crisis line, emergency room or to your doctor for help. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if I can help further.

Customer :

Thank you for that, and I apologise in advance for saying I've heard it all before, but I have had no one to confide in for quite some time. At the moment, I am having some "good" days, but a lot of "dark" days, and in fact woke up crying at 2.30am two nights ago. I try to keep this from my husband, as he has been very long suffering with my illness, and although he is very supportive, I can not allow him to see what terrible mental shape I am in. I have started doing clinical pilates (mainly to help with my painful neck, shoulders and back) with a view to increasing my core strength, and hopefully self esteem. TRUST of other people is a huge issue for me these days, even though I used to hold very high powered positions in the corporate world. I am still having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that I have a mental "illness", and that at my age, I may never be able to handle that amount of stress (or obtain a similar role in my field of expertise) again. I was always told by my mother that there was no second place, only 1st and last, and that I would never amount to anything, and that I was just a failure like my father. Also, that there was something "wrong" with me, I was always compared to my elder and younger sister. I guess she was right.

Lori Gephart :

I am sorry to hear about the struggles you have had. The most important thing that you can control now is to change the messages to yourself from the very conditional and unreasonable messages that you received from your mother to new unconditional messages of love; that you don't have to be perfect to be good enough. Keep in mind that, as Jon Kabbat-Zinn, who writes about mindfulness meditation, says, "As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you." The less critical of yourself that you become, the more supportive you can be and the more you can begin to feel better. I wish you the best. Please let me know if I can help further.

Customer :

Thank you so much. I will look up the writings by Jon Kabbat-Zin, as I also enjoy the the writings by Omar Khayyam. I do feel that I need to find a spiritual path in life, to compliment my sessions with a clinical psychologist, and my medications, although we may not have yet got them quite right, just a case of "tweaking" them I am sure. This is all very costly though, especially since I have been unable to work for over 12 months now, and has a huge impact on our quality of living, with doctors and specialist fees costing me over $200 per month, and the medication approx the same. This is also worrying to me, as my husband is working 50 hours a week to make up the shortfall. Still in the words of Lou Reed "every day above ground, is a good day". I hope I meet him one day, just to stamp him on the foot!!

Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience: Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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