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Depression can put a strain between you and your partner if it’s not handled properly.

Tips on how to cope with a depressed partner [Atinka Online]
Tips on how to cope with a depressed partner [Atinka Online]
Atinka Online

Living with a depressed partner who is often unhappy, critical and negative isn’t easy, and it may also be hard to persuade the individual to get help.

Depression varies tremendously in severity, but it has many behavioral impacts that can profoundly affect all significant relationships. Many factors can contribute to one’s depression, most especially when he is in a low place in his life.

Depression results from shifts in brain chemistry that influence mood, thoughts, sex drive, sleep, appetite, and energy levels. All factors that could affect a marriage, as well as disrupt home and family life.

So what do you do when your partner or husband won’t talk to you but grumble, complain and mope around the house? Here’s how to deal with a depressed partner.

1. Find the root of the problem

 You have to know what the problem is to solve it [How Africa]You have to know what the problem is to solve it [How Africa]

Howafrica

This is the first step to solving the problem. You have to know what the problem is to solve it. Is it the person’s job? Earnings? Or even you and the family? A problem shared is a problem solved. And in a case where he doesn’t talk, do some digging, but not snooping and getting into the partner’s business. Just gather enough information that would help in solving the problem.

2. Identify what you each can handle and stick to it

Supporting a significant other through a hard time is always going to be stressful. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, but it can be a danger to your well-being. You can’t help your partner if you’re too overwhelmed to function. When you’re helping your partner, be sure to give yourself some clear boundaries on what you can and cannot offer them. Getting a therapist for your partner is advised.

3. Seek help together

Support goes a long way in helping your spouse. Seek help together, whether it is a counselor you see or a professional therapist, a spiritual counselor or help from family members. You need to be by your partner’s side so the individual doesn’t go through the journey alone.

4. Demonstrate your love

Telling and showing your partner that you love them helps them [Pulse Nigeria]

Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support. Proactively counteract those thoughts by telling and showing your partner that you love them. Let them know that you understand that depression is affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and that you (still) love them. Reassure them that you are here to support them in their journey to get better.

5. Do family activities together

You can take him and the kids out, do something fun as you used to you when dating. Getting him distracted will help the recuperation process. He needs to feel needed and useful again, to know that there are people counting on him. You are the one who can best help your husband because you know him best.

Depression can be debilitating and is very different from just feeling unhappy. Usually, there is a reason for unhappiness such as being rejected or not getting the job you wanted. Depression is a pervasive feeling. It’s almost as if you are in a black tunnel with no light. Hope disappears and the things you used to find enjoyable become a chore. Even winning the lottery would not snap someone out of depression and it is never a good idea to tell someone who is depressed to sort themselves out and pull themselves together. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

1. Practice Mindfulness
A depressed mind tends to mull over all that is wrong and worries unnecessarily about all the negative possibilities that may emerge in the future. This negative thought cycle reinforces misery and is not helpful in managing to overcome depression. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and is a skill that needs to be practiced. More often than not, our brains are full of thoughts and focusing on the present moment seems unnatural for our minds. Practice on engaging your senses in the moment. Focus on touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. Engaging the senses leaves less time for worry.tely, it isn’t that simple, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

2. Stop the Negative Self Talk
Depressed people tend to see the world in a negative way. When things go wrong they blame themselves and when they go right, they put it down to luck. Depression reinforces self doubt and feelings of worthlessness. Monitor your inner negative talk and make allowances for this type of thinking by reminding yourself that your thinking is that of a depressed person, not a healthy functioning person. Don’t take your thoughts seriously when you are feeling low. Acknowledge the thoughts but this doesn’t mean you have to believe them. Keep perspective.

3. Distract Yourself
If possible, do your best to distract yourself from over thinking. Your thoughts are your enemy when depression sets in. Play with a pet or go for a walk. Read a book if you are able to concentrate or finish a puzzle. Do anything that takes your mind off your fears and worries. Keeping busy is an effective way to overcome depression.

4. Connect with Friends
This can be one of the hardest things to do when feeling depressed but it is one of the most rewarding activities. Force yourself to go out. Isolating oneself from others may seem a good idea but put a limit on it and then get out there again. This can have a huge positive effect on your mood.

5. Forgive Others
When we hold a grudge, we are the ones that feel the anger. The person whom we are angry with is probably merrily going about their business completely oblivious to your feelings. Don’t allow others to have this power over you. They have may have caused you grief in the past, try not to allow that grief to continue – it only affects you, not them. Find a way to forgive – they are not worthy of your time. Lighten the emotional load and you will improve your mood and help you to overcome depression.

6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep and mood are closely connected. Inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress, while healthy sleep can enhance well-being. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood.Take steps to ensure adequate sleep will this will lead to improved mood and well-being. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort so aim for between 7.5 and 9 hours sleep per night.

7. Exercise
Regular exercise has benefits for helping to overcome depression. Exercise releases endorphins which improve natural immunity and improve mood. Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against heart disease, cancer and boosting self-esteem. Experts advise getting half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking at least three to four times per week.

8. Don’t give up
Depression can make you want to hide away from the world and disappear. It’s okay to take some time out but give yourself a time limit and then do something productive to improve your mood. Depression can be well managed (I know this from personal experience) and there can be a wonderful life beyond depression. Hang in there and keep the faith.

Although the above suggestions can be effective, depression that perseveres should be investigated further and seeing a Doctor to chat over any symptoms is a step in the right direction.

 

It’s interesting that some of our educated African brothers and sisters (African-Americans included) are ignorant of the reality of depression, even when we experience it. We worry more about what our kinsmen, friends, colleagues, and neighbours would say, rather than find ways to help ourselves, our loved ones or that stranger; crying out for help.

Son: I am depressed, Dad.

Dad: God forbid! It is not your portion!

Son: What does that even mean?

Dad: Rebuke it, Son! Depression is not for us. We are Africans. It’s a term oyinbo people use to seek for attention.

Son: I have been feeling depressed for weeks, Dad.

Dad: Biko, don’t let anybody hear you say that nonsense again. Tufiakwa! Abomination!

The next morning, this father found his only child in a pool of his blood, with a blood-soaked suicide note on his bedroom floor. All the signs were clearly there, just like in many cases.

***

Not many people experiencing depression express it or seek help. The question remains: how many people are attentive to these signs? How many people offer help?

There are several triggers for depression. Each trigger depends on an individual’s experiences, lifestyle, and/or thought-process.

There’s no shame in feeling depressed. It is not an abomination or a sin against God or Allah. Depression is real, as real as you can feel your breath under your nose. It is as real as the pain and emptiness it comes with.

Depression is a poison that can numb you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Who can relate? Say I.

You don’t have to have experienced depression to know it is real, or show empathy to someone experiencing it.

Depression literally kills many people on a daily basis. It does not discriminate, just like death. Even children as young as seven feel depressed. Many children and teens have committed suicide because they were depressed. No one is immune to feeling depressed. Many “normal people” have lived it too. They all felt depressed: lost, empty, alone, scared, and hopeless.

We need to educate Africans and families that depression is not a taboo. We need to be open to new information to better ourselves and wellbeing. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of to say, “I am depressed,” or “I need help.” It’s interesting that some of our educated African brothers and sisters (African-Americans included) are ignorant of the reality of depression, even when we experience it. We worry more about what our kinsmen, friends, colleagues, and neighbours would say, rather than find ways to help ourselves, our loved ones or that stranger; crying out for help.

All the signs are there. They are always there. We just have to pay more attention. When we are the ones experiencing depression, we should find the courage to talk to someone. Bottled emotions are like time bombs that will eventually explode. Rebuking “depression in the name of Jesus” is like rebuking the blood dripping on your face from a cut. You see the blood, you wipe it clean to treat the cut, and then ask God for healing, or you call your doctor for antibiotics. Being ignorant of the fact will simply make the cut/bruise prone to infection.

We need to know the difference between ignorance and foolishness. Being educated doesn’t equate to having common sense.

August Strindberg said, and I agree: “There are poisons that blind you and poisons that open your eyes.”

Depression is poison that can either blind us or open our eyes. It is like death slow in coming, if/when not taken care of.

Love can certainly help cure depression. Agape-kind-of love.

After all is said and done, what we tell ourselves takes root in our minds, therefore, controls our emotions and steps. Easier said than done, right? But, when being strong becomes our only way to survive, we start to see things differently, and we become the best of us … eventually. No doubt!

About Nkem

Nkem DenChukwu is a bonafide creative writer and filmmaker. In 2019, she became Houston Literary Awards – Reader’s Choice Winner. She delved into the arts of filmmaking and creative writing in 2012, and has since then, written 7 inspirational books for children, teens, and young adults. Nkem has produced 14 indie films in Texas. In 2018, she was featured in Forbes (Digital Edition) while five of her creative verses have been featured in Oprah Winfrey Magazine. Nkem was a Huffington Post Contributor. For more details on Nkem DenChukwu’s work, visit www.nkemdenchukwu.com

Anxiety and depression are two words that I desperately wish were not in my personal vocabulary and experience. But, they are. God allowed me to walk through several years in the valley of the shadow of death and now that I’m on the other side of it, I believe He had my good in mind. I believe He taught me things in the valley that I could never have learned on the mountaintop. I believe that He wanted to prove to me that I truly am never alone, though I felt it many times. I believe He wanted to teach me that my feelings do not equate truth. God wanted to show me parts of Himself that I might never have known otherwise.

My season of depression is over for now; however, the anxiety can creep in, often unannounced, and leave me reeling. Sometimes the fear is so thick that I just know if I reach out my hands I can touch it. Sometimes the fear and anxiety keep me awake at night.

I know I’m not the only one that struggles. God has taught me much on this journey and I hope that these verses and these words will remind you that you also aren’t alone, you aren’t forsaken, and the God of the universe loves you. He longs for you to trust Him even through seasons where we don’t understand what is happening around us or in us.

For me, praying God’s Word in particular has been one thing that has helped me my heart so much. Sometimes in the depth of despair we don’t feel like we have the words to pray. So, instead, God gives us His own word and we pray it back to Him. We want to be close to God but don’t know how. His Word provides that closeness and nearness of Himself. He gives us Himself through the gift of His Word. His Word can be your lifeline, friend, don’t take it for granted!

Here are some of my favorite verses to pray when I’m struggling. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Psalm 23 – This passage is so well known to most people, but don’t overlook the profound truth and comfort this Psalm brings to us just because you’ve heard it many times before. Speak the words to God:

“God, You are my shepherd, I lack nothing. You make me lie down in green pastures, You lead me beside still waters, You restore my soul. You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me! Your rod and your staff, they comfort me! You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in Your house forever. Amen.” Psalm 23:1-6

Psalm 27 – This Psalm is one of my life verses. I’ve struggled a lot with people pleasing which I think leads to anxiety so often. Wondering and worrying and becoming fearful of what others think or what they might do or say about us. We can’t live in that place! We must preach the gospel to ourselves and remind our hearts the The LORD alone is our light and our salvation!

“God, You are my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked come against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear!” Psalm 27:1-3

Psalm 34 – I like to think of this Psalm as the Psalm for the brokenhearted and fearful one. God love the brokenhearted, you know. And we are all broken, by the way.

“I will bless You at all times, Your praise will continually be in my mouth. I sought You, Lord, and You heard me, You delivered me from all my fears. When we look to You we are radiant. Your angels encamp all around those who fear You and You deliver us. Help me to taste and see that You are good, oh Lord. You say I will be blessed when I trust You. Those who seek You lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:1-10

Psalm 61 – Isn’t it encouraging to read the words of David, a Bible hero, who struggled like we do? That may be one of the reasons the Psalms are my favorite place to camp in God’s Word when I’m struggling. I especially like Psalm 61 in the New King James because of the word “overwhelmed.” I have spent seasons living in an overwhelmed state. When I find myself there, I pray these words:

“Hear my cry, O God; from the ends of the earth I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you are a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy…” Psalm 61:1-3

Psalm 91 – Psalm 91 is another Psalm with such comfort that helps us learn how much it truly impacts us when we abide in Christ. Psalm 91 tells us that when we abide or dwell in the shelter of the Most High, we can REST in His shadow. He gives us rest from our worry, from our fears, from our anxiety.

“You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2

When the anxiety sets in, repeat some of these verses out loud. Speak them to God. Memorize His Word. Cling to these truths. Repeat to the Lord, “I trust You, I trust You…” and when we abide in Christ, the peace that passes all understanding begins to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-6

Did you catch the beautiful truth in that passage? Prayer brings peace. When we are anxious about anything we are instructed to take it to God – with thanksgiving even! And then? Then, the peace of God, which we may never understand, will GUARD our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Prayer brings peace. Prayer gives us more of Jesus. And that is just what we need in our moments and seasons of anxiety: more of Jesus.

Note – If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety, depression or any mental illness, please reach out for help! Tell someone, a friend, a spouse, or your doctor. There is help, hope and healing available for you! Do not suffer alone.

Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids. Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New. On her blog she shares encouragement for weary women from God’s Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures. 

Source: I believe

Before depression medications like Xanax and Prozac were introduced and became the norm for depression treatment, people relied on phrases or mantras to help calm their system and relieve anxiety. The practice of repeating phrases until you feel better has been done for centuries among those who believe in various faith traditions. These phrases are like hymns and chants that implore spiritual and psychological healing, but you can still use these phrases to repeat under your breath as a remedy for when you’re feeling depressed.

HERE ARE 12 PHRASES TO REPEAT TO YOURSELF IF YOU’RE FEELING DEPRESSED

1. I AM STRONG.

It’s a misconception that only the weak and the needy suffer from depression. It’s also a myth that those who ask for help are actually the weakest because they depend on someone else. On the contrary, many depressed people who ask for help show self-awareness, and that’s a sign of strength. It shows that they want to change their situation.

2. I WILL GET BETTER.

Depression triggers hopelessness. Saying these words over and over promotes positive thoughts despite your emotionally stormy state. The reality is, eventually you will get better because the dark clouds hanging over you won’t be there forever.

3. I AM STILL BREATHING.

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh believes in mindful breathing and shared a similar phrase in his book “You Are Here.” The practice of concentrating on the breaths you take, while chanting this phrase, helps the mind to unite with the body, thus bringing a sense of calmness.

4. LET IT GO.

There is a lot of wisdom in the famous words from Elsa, the animated Disney character from “Frozen.” If you find yourself in an obsessive state of anxiety, where you worry about things that haven’t happen or won’t likely happen or conflicts that might arise, then simply say these three words over and over.

5. BE NOT AFRAID.

This phrase, and its variation, “Fear not,” is repeated over a hundred times in the Scriptures. Many people, including the non-religious, find comfort in it. There seems to be a healing power in meditating on the words of a Higher Being and repeating the phrase could pacify anxieties. While the fear is still there, uttering the phrase gives you control over it.

6. THERE’S NO DANGER.

Depression can trigger thoughts and feelings that might make you feel your life is under a threat. Saying these words repeatedly should appease your thoughts and open your eyes to the reality that the danger is all in your mind. This phrase goes hand in hand with, “Be not afraid. “

7. I HAVE INNER PEACE.

“Om Shanti Om” means inner peace and it is the simplest mantra that Tibetan monks often chant. Invite inner peace into your mind and body to relieve depression and its physical symptoms. You will start feeling your tensed chest loosening up by repeating to yourself that you have inner peace.

8. MY THOUGHTS, WORDS, AND ACTIONS CONTRIBUTE TO MY HAPPINESS AND FREEDOM.

This phrase encourages a life of positivity, compassion, and empathy. It implores a person to live as a servant of life who is in harmony with other beings, including nature and the environment. It has its roots in the tenets of Jivamukti Yoga, which shows the path to enlightenment.

9. SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL MAKE SENSE.

People who haven’t experienced sadness or pain aren’t interesting because there’s no depth and growth in them. While it seems like life is full of misfortunes now and it’s causing a wave of depression in you, be assured that one day you’ll see the purpose in your pain. By repeating the phrase over and over, you will find your strength, resilience, and maturity.

10. I NEED TO BE KIND TO MYSELF IN MY SUFFERING.

Kristin Neff in her book “Self-Compassion” had a similar mantra for handling negative emotions. She said that it’s important to acknowledge your pain and suffering, so you can treat yourself with compassion in moments of difficulty. It follows the same advice as famed teacher Pema Chödrön in the book “When Things Fall Apart,” where she instructs followers to face their problems, not run away from them. Feeling depressed should help you see what’s vital to your life and it should trigger your drive to overcome it. After all, life is about surviving.

11. ONE STEP AT A TIME.

Depression may spike because you feel a loss of control over a situation that’s causing stress. This phrase helps to remind yourself to beat that depressed feeling slowly but surely. When life drags you down, your best choice is to take a moment to help lessen the weight of your burden. One day, nothing will hold you back.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Depression can be crippling but it’s an emotion you can help control with positive thinking. The choice is yours – you can either let either let this pain hold you back or let this feeling enlighten you. Hopefully, one of these suggested phrases will help you find peace.

12. TRUST IN THE PROCESS.

Obstacles are part of life, but depression sometimes leads you to ask questions like, “Why me?” or, “Why does this keep happening to me?” or, “Why is my life so challenging?” It’s hard to see the right path clearly during your most troubled times, but with this phrase, you can condition your mind to see obstacles as part of a learning opportunity. They’re not there to make a victim out of you. You have to trust in the process.

Source: Power of positivity

We all know what anxiety can feel like; it can be utterly debilitating and soul-destroying. Many of us are familiar with the pounding chest where you feel your heart is about to explode. Your face flushes or goes suddenly quite pale. You can feel the blood draining from your face.

The panic inside you says: “People are going to notice you experiencing this. Get out of here!” And the stinging fear of embarrassment and humiliation can overwhelm you to the point of tears.

Such experiences can be completely terrifying. We often want to stop feeling these symptoms altogether, however we need to recognize that in many cases, experiencing anxiety actually serves us well.

Our brains are biologically wired to help us survive. What’s happening here however, is our innate fear response has become hyper vigilant in a way that no longer serves us. It’s working in overdrive when we perceive (often subconsciously) there is a threat to our safety but there may not actually be a physical and real threat.

There are strategies you can use to regain control but you will need to consciously learn how to manage anxiety and reduce the emotional, mental and physical experiences you’re suffering.

1. Work with a Professional to Identify and Get Familiar with Your Triggers

Your experience of anxiety will be different to the next person and the next person after that. It’s important to recognize that the specific prescription of tools and techniques that work for you will be different to how they work for someone else.

Spending time to recognize patterns and common features of your anxiety should be a primary step in your management and recovery plan.

Despite popular belief that we need to go back to the root cause of how and why your anxiety started, it’s important to know that sometimes significantly traumatic events and/or experiences are better contained in the box with the lid on. In other cases, accessing the catalyst can be a lengthy and experience and near impossible.

Working with a qualified and trained mental health professional can greatly help you to gently and safely assess and determine things which can derail you. Doing so will not only help you protect your emotional and mental health, but add a greater sense of control in mapping and identifying graduated steps to work through as a treatment plan.

Look to partner with a supportive, empathetic trained professional in your corner who can see risks and help you develop suitable tailored action plans to manage and reduce symptoms that trigger your symptoms. You’ll increase control of your own progress, and your growing confidence can exponentially increase your recovery than trying to go it alone.

If you can’t access face to face or group workshops, online therapy (e.g. Better Help or Talk Space) is becoming much more widely available. There are options available for everyone.

2. Have Breathing Techniques up Your Sleeve

The mistake often made by those in the throes of experiencing heightened symptoms, is trying to recall specific ‘helpful’ thoughts to eradicate the unhelpful ones in that moment. This doesn’t work very often. It’s like trying to open the door of a front loader washing machine just commencing a spin cycle to put more laundry inside!

If your symptoms are highly intense, such strategy is unlikely to succeed. Your mind is the washing machine, by the way.

The way we breathe has incredible power beyond simply inhaling oxygen and expelling it from our lungs. The rhythm, pace and depth all have significant calming and healing effects on us.

Neuroscience documents that by switching focus to managing your breath halts certain neurons sending panic signals throughout your body.[1] The result is calmer physiology.

Making it your job to calm your breath first helps reduce intensity of those tangible symptoms screaming at you.

We breathe in two ways: through our thoracic region and through our diaphragm. The latter is the one you want to focus your attention to:

  1. Place your non-dominant hand, palm down flat over your chest and place the other just under your ribs on your diaphragm.
  2. Either close your eyes or drop your gaze to a 45° angle and choose a spot to loosely focus on.
  3. Draw a breath in through your nose, gradual, slow and smooth as silk for three counts.
  4. Hold the breath for a split second.
  5. Purse your lips and expel your breath again for 4 or 5 counts, slow, smooth as silk. Control the exhalation.

The next breath cycle, you may want to breathe in for three counts and exhale for five counts. Practice this for at least 5 cycles or at least till you start to notice you are physically calmer in some respects.

If you suffer from panic disorder,[2] you can initially feel increased panic or anxiety doing this technique. Stop and practice again a little while later. You need to switch focus from thoracic (chest) breathing which is common during panic attacks, to diaphragmatic breathing.

Don’t wait until you’re in the heat of the moment to try putting the technique into effect. Practice during a time when you are calmer so your brain and body develop a familiarity of the process and what a reduction in your symptoms feels like.

Like a competitive sport, you practice off the court so that when you get on the court, you’re well familiar with what you need to do. You only need to press the proverbial button and let a more automatic, practiced process wield its magic. Practice.

3. Learn Grounding and Distraction Techniques Which Give Your Mind Something to Do

Such techniques are distractions. Do they get rid of your anxiety? Unlikely. Do they help to cope with and reduce the intensity of your symptoms? Yes, so that you can recalibrate yourself to a more organized mental state from which you can engage cognitive exercises that challenge and reframe unhelpful thoughts.

If you’re never thought games such as eye-spy would ever come in handy in your adult years, here is news for you!

Start with the letter ‘A’ and look to name everything you can see around you starting with ‘A’. Move on then to the letter ‘B’ then ‘C’ and so on. Search as far, wide and deep as you can looking for objects that start with your letter of focus.

Or, use colors. Work your way through the colors of the rainbow sequentially identifying as many things as you can that showcase that color. Fully immerse into the exercise and give your mind something to focus on. Spend a few minutes to do this.

A tangible grounding technique is to focus on what you have physical contact with. Pay attention to the sensations; how your bottom touches and squishes into the chair or your back muscles press into the back of your seat.

How do your feet feel in your shoes? How do your clothes feel against your skin? You’re tasking your mind with an activity which decreases capacity for it to focus on your present symptoms of anxiety.

4. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Professor Jasper Smits and Professor Stefan Hofman have conducted extensive research into the most effective treatments for managing adult anxiety. They published findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry from an extensive meta-analysis which revealed CBT to consistently have strong impact in the treatment and management of anxiety.[3]

CBT involves addressing, challenging and reframing negative thoughts and re-shaping unhelpful behavior. A task-based, practical approach is applied to help clients recognize maladaptive thinking and habits, learn more helpful and positive ways to behave and think; and in turn, transform their symptoms.

For individuals to really experience benefit, undertaking regular applications of doable homework exercises is most effective. CBT is highly effective but requires individuals’ regular commitment.

Expect to work with a mental health professional on a weekly basis for three to four months. Find someone who won’t just give you homework sheets (that’s lazy therapy) but is closely attuned to providing you with good education, comfortably assess any resistance to change, and be able to modify and adjust exercises that best enable you to do them.

You won’t just experience a reduction in your symptoms because you develop such strong self-awareness and self-monitoring skills. You’ll learn mental skills that will strengthen your resilience and propel you further forward toward goals of how you want to feel, think and behave.

5. Try the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

EFT which involves applying light repetitive pressure to meridian points, is becoming increasingly documented as an effective symptom reduction technique for anxiety.[4] Also known as ‘tapping,’ anyone can learn to self-administer it with the guidance of a practitioner.

In collaboration with professional associate Gary Craig, Clinical psychologist Dr Roger Callahan[5] developed a simple yet effective self-administered process where individuals self-apply pressure to acupressure points on their body.

Using techniques from neuro linguistic programming and thought field therapy, individuals consciously lean into degrees of discomfort concerning their thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms.

Best learned under instruction and support of an EFT practitioner or trained professional, you initially apply mindfulness to consciously become aware of your anxiety symptoms – thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

As you tap, you gradually start to experience relief and reduction in your symptoms. However, remember the level of impact felt will differ and progress at different rates from one person to the next.

Research shows that the positive effect of tapping is long lasting, particularly for anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress. It is becoming used more widely for other mental health challenges including weight loss, grief and loss, low self-esteem and confidence.

6. Use Imagery to Help Manage Anxiety

This is such an under-utilized but very powerful mechanism of our brain when it comes to directing our thoughts and behavior in a way to serve us, particularly in the context of anxiety.

Our brains are neuroplastic. We can train and rewire them to work better in our favor, yet we often live the majority of our day unconsciously by default.

Think about how many times you have day-dreamed today. When your tummy starts growling just before lunchtime, can you easily hook into images of what you want to satiate your hunger?

Often we engage imagery without thinking, but guided imagery is a key technique that helps with the reduction of anxiety with diagnoses of PTSD, social phobia and performance anxiety.[6]

Your brain’s amygdala plays a key role in emotional regulation[7] and hence those emotions connected with perceived fear responses when you feel anxious.

Imaginal exposure therapy (vividly imagining the feared object, situation or activity) works to dampen amygdala activity and reduce the intensity of emotions experienced in anxiety. You have the advantage of visiting memories in a safe, controlled space interspersed with grounding/relaxation, and gently exposing your mind’s eye to that which you feel anxious about. Starting this process should be done with a trained professional.

7. Ensure Relaxation Techniques Are in Your Toolkit

Being anxious is exhausting. For those who suffer from general anxiety, your stress response mechanisms are constantly running, so you need to learn how to tell your body to relax.

Having a couple of meditative instructional relaxation apps you can instantly access through your phone should be on your list of essential management strategies.

In your choice of apps and relaxation techniques. consider choosing one which engages as many of your senses as possible. The more physical feedback you’re directed to notice a reduction in your physical symptoms throughout the relaxation exercise, the more likely you will stick to it and be motivated to repeat it.

Progressive muscle relaxation should be in your anxiety management toolkit. This method directs you to focus on noticing the different feeling between active tension and resulting relaxation when you release the tension of a muscle. Sequentially working through muscle groups in the body from head to toe, your mind is directing and telling your body to become calmer.

You need to be sensible with this one where you might be recovering from an injury or be at risk of developing a physical injury. Certainly avoid this exercise (and meditation) whilst driving.

Again, practicing this one at regular times throughout the day gives your brain and muscles a mental blueprint to relax such that it will be more effective in anxiety-provoking situations. Because you can also feel immediate tangible differences, it can boost your confidence earlier than starting with exercises that are purely cognitive.

The Bottom Line

Reviewing your diet and exercise regime is a given. Reducing caffeine intake, processed food and improving physical movement you engage in daily has incredibly strong impact and makes the strategies above even more effective when you do them.

However, for you to get a strong handle on how to manage and reduce your experience of anxiety, you’re going to have to develop a commitment to regularly applying changes.

If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with a therapist. Your first step is to develop a strong awareness of what you’re experiencing and what could be triggering it.

When you know and understand more, you can do far more in the pilot seat to land your anxiety back on the tarmac and potentially never let it take off from that runway again.

Author: Helen Dasilva

Publisher, Betty Irabor, who has battled depression and attempted suicide in the past, shared a thoughtful piece on her Instagram page on Sunday.

In her write-up, the 63-year-old appealed to anyone suffering depression to seek help and deal with the root cause of their hollowness. According to Irabor, getting married, pregnant or buying material things, would not make them feel any better when the root cause of their depression hasn’t been dealt with. She wrote;

I was about 12 when I first saw a Rolls Royce. It’s owner was a guest of mum. Did I show off on that day? I earned renewed respect in the hood on Akinwunmi street.. well at least for few days! Sigh!! Yesterday I took the liberty of posing by this vintage monster of a ride In Warri. Na pose I pose o, I didn’t say it’s mine before you people will come for me!!

I remember thinking while in the throes of depression that as soon as my new ride arrived I would feel better. I didn’t feel better. And that’s how it goes on; when I get married I will feel better, when I am rich I will feel better, when I have children I will feel better, when I get that designer bag I will feel better, when I move into my new house I will feel better.

Truth is, things or people don’t make us feel better until we fix the cancer within and own up to the fact that we feel hollow within and need help. We carry around burdens and pains that we need to offload so we can travel light. We cannot fake true happiness, it expires as soon as we are alone and the reality of what we are masking hits us. We can lie to the world about how well we are on the outside but we can’t deceive our selves…
Life is about finding joy in little abundance and trusting that our current situation is only a part of our long journey….This present challenge is only a comma in a sentence and not the full stop…

Focus on what truly counts and live one day at a time. Most of us dont have it all figured out… na packaging…

Don’t give up on yourself, believe in endless possibilities and don’t focus on what could have been…

This is your time, make it count.

Credit: LIB

At exactly 10:42pm on 8th of March 2017, I wrote “Heaven I need a Hug” on my wall , perhaps I needed a hug considering the fact that I have several back logs and I was stressed at the time, but beyond that I wanted to see how people will respond , I wasn’t disappointed with the number of e-hugs I received within thirty minutes BUT two friends had to slide to my inbox and asked me to put down the post, one said it showed too much emotions and the other said “you are too strong to be perceived like a weak woman Esther , bring it down its not good for your brand”. Wetin concern personal brand with emotions ogini?

This is exactly the reason why people suffer and die in silence , imagine if all the people who committed suicide recently  put up a post similar to mine just to let people know they need help and get  such response from their friends?

Please let’s allow people express themselves on social media the way and manner they like, as a matter of fact I want to encourage anyone who is down, depressed or about to give it all up , put up a post and let’s know what you are going through , sometimes the closet people to us are our biggest problem and you cant tell your problem to a problem, it’s fine to seek help on Facebook or any other social media platform or other direct means.

Feel free to write messages such as :

“I am Depressed”
“I need help”
“I need to talk to someone ”
“Please help”
“I need a therapist”
“I need a counsellor ”
Etc etc etc

Just express yourself however you feel and I am sure someone out there will reach out to you. I am positive we have good people who truly care in Nigeria, all you need to reach them is to SPEAK UP!

I have been down that road before, and it’s not just being depressed because life happened or stress, I was in my world, the over analysing and over thinking stage where you feel living isn’t worth it anymore,  and I don’t pray to ever go there again, I was in self denial of my state of mind till a true friend who didn’t judge me asked that I seek help from a therapist . I am a survivor, no shame at all, and a proud Mental health advocate for She Writes Woman

If you need to talk to someone about your problems please reach out to the following people: Hauwa Ojeifo, Oyinkansola Alabi, Praise Fowowe , Laila St. Matthew-Daniel, Pamela Udoka.

I have a listening ear , I will give you a hug, give you my time and attention, walk you through the process but sadly I can’t offer you the professional help you need like the above mentioned persons. Please don’t die in silence , reach out, SPEAK UP and don’t let depression and suicide win.

Kindly add names of other therapist in the comment section ???.

Please seek help….

You are not alone…..

Sometimes, all a lady seems to just want is a husband material, the type of man that comes with the right values, etc.

Then, when such a man seems to come her way, she realizes that he is a husband material quite alright, just that he lacks that “swag”, that sexiness, that “fine boy” edge…that excites. And he ends up being roundly abused!

Therefore, a man who has only treated a woman well ends up being paid back with ingratitude. All these and more have simply taught me that some of us are simply victims of our emotional damage. When a man is not mean to them and has not treated them badly… they don’t feel complete. Playboys seem to hold a permanent magnet of sorts on them. A decent guy is not easily appreciated by them.

Even after going through a harrowing experience in the hands of a man that has been mean to her, as soon as she catches her breath…she finds her way back to him-for more experiences.

The proclivity towards bad boys has a strong hold on most women. Yet we all know that it takes stability of (attitude) for a relationship to succeed…anything contrary leaves a trail of heartbreak and tears behind.

There are men that deafen one’s hearing with “wife material requests” but the moment a decent lady comes their way-they get bored faster than fast and begin to yearn for the wild ones. People, to whom “goodness” is lost on, get their kicks from being saddled with unpleasant characters.

One of my friends had been on my neck to help find him a wife.

When it seemed to me he was serious enough, I decided to show him some pictures of a few friends that are still in the singles market.

I didn’t bother asking him too many questions about the qualities he wants in a lady because experience has taught me that some of them can tell you all you want to hear-just to impress and make you conclude they’ve got their heads properly screwed on their shoulders-even when their body language is pointing to the things (freaky in nature) that are left unsaid.

So, I decided to come to my own conclusion by watching him. I observed that CHARACTER was not in the picture (yet) for him and he bluntly confirmed my worst fears by telling me that once he is OKAY with a lady’s looks-he can easily tolerate her character…

Interestingly, his past failed relationships have a similar trend (IN YOUR FACE looks –amongst the ladies), judging from the pictures of his EX (es) that he showed me. My only worry is that he continued to let LOOKS be the sole determinant of his choice of a marriage partner.

I expected him to veer from this norm for once and see if he can get a different outcome. That is my opinion, though!

He has made his choice and I have never stopped praying for the success of that “setting” because my humble neck is seriously at stake here-should anything go awry. I am the one that’s going to receive “you are siding with him/her’’ bullets from both sides, when things get out of hand and one has to intervene.

However, if you find yourself frustrated that all your niceness has not yielded results in your love life, please don’t fall prey to the mentality that you have to give up “being good” to attract someone.

Being less than yourself won’t fulfill you. Also, perish the thought that whom you love should love you back. Actually, no one owes you their affections because you feel you are good. Everyone’s heart is theirs to give at their own discretion and it cannot be demanded.

A friend once said: “Most Nigerian ladies don’t appreciate a good or gentle man because most times 99 per cent of men and women carry the baggage of the last bad relationships to the new one. They already expect the worse even before it happens. Yes, experience is a good teacher, but we stick more to the past and destroy the present and future in our relationships. Another thing is the attitude of “I will get and take what I can immediately first and forget about tomorrow’’. A wise man once told me and I quote “life and happiness is a journey and not a destination.”

But, this concludes it for me: ‘’Nigerians take everything as a destination, our life, our job, our family and love life, all as a destination. The situation in Nigeria has also changed the dynamics of relationships, most guys see women as commodities and women see men as opportunity to get and better their lot. We should look at relationships as a selfless venture for the one we love.’’