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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate, I need some help today. My daughter and I have been

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I need some help today. My daughter and I have been away out of town since Sunday. But what was supposed to be a fun trip with shopping and meals out is turning out to be me pretending to be okay and then being so depressed when my daughter isn't looking. I'm not hungry, can't sleep or concentrate or keep forcus. But the hardest part for me is to stay in the present moment. I wish I could do it and then I wouldn't keep thinking about all the bad. But I can't seem to do it.
I feel so despondent. We will be driving back home tomorrow and once my daughter goes back to school, I know it will get worse. I just can't seem to get enjoyment out of anything:(

I'm sorry that you feel so bad on your getaway. It's hard to cope when you are feeling so down. When you have been through so many stressors like you have, it's bound to affect you, even to the point where a getaway doesn't help.

You and I have talked about some techniques that you can use to help you feel better. But if those things are not working now, we can try some other things.

Depression, if not caused by a chemical imbalance, is caused by the kinds of thoughts you are having. To help yourself, try these ideas:

Focus on what you feel grateful for- this is sometimes hard to fathom when you feel so bad, but there are things in your life that you can be grateful for. Your daughter, your home, a chance to get away, money for food, etc.

Get around animals- dogs are excellent therapists! They are never down and always happy to see you. Petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress. It can also make you feel happy.

Surround yourself with positive people- spend a day with a cheery friend, attend a group at church, or go out with someone who always makes you laugh.

Make sure you keep journaling and expressing your feelings. Just the act of getting it off your chest can help you feel less alone and less down.

I hope you are feeling better soon,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Kate for your suggestions. I can tell you put quite a bit of thought into answering my posts and I really appreciate it.

Dog therapy will be good once we are home tomorrow. We have three of them - 6 year old 4 year old and the third one is almost 1. All small. All rescued from puppy mills. Bichon, Shihtzu and the youngest one is a maltese/poodle cross who is all of 5 pounds. They are great company for me during the day plus if I can get motivated, a reason to get outside and go for a walk.

My problem is motivation. My emotions are so bad especially the sadness, it is difficult to go out. I just want to sleep. I am journaling though.

Sometimes my thoughts scare me. I'm not used to having such strong ones and my inability to pull myself out of them. I feel consumed and don't seem to want to do much about it. My thoughts are sometimes very troubling.

Thanks as always.


You're welcome, Kathy!

Wow, three dogs? That is a lot! You do get some good dog therapy then ;)

Motivation is a major hindrance with depression. It is the most difficult of the symptoms because it prevents you from trying anything to help yourself. That is where taking things one step at a time helps. Also, remember that others do care about you, no matter what. It may be hard to remember that when you feel so down. But you are important to the people in your life and you are needed.

Try to manage your days by telling yourself that you will do what you can, but not more than you can do. Do not look at the whole day, just section it off into small increments. And if you can't do anything for that period of time, that is ok. Don't make yourself feel guilty or upset about it. Simply move to the next section of your day. See what you can do.

You may also want to try rewarding yourself to motivate yourself. Think of something that is indulgent or special that you'd like to have or do. Then set a goal for that day. Once you accomplish it (even if it takes a few days to do it), reward yourself. It will provide motivation and help you get started.

Try not to worry about your thoughts. They may be frightening, but keep in mind they are only thoughts. Try writing them out or talking to someone about them. That will take some of the power out of them. It will also provide you with reassurance that you are ok.


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