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Depression Q & A: Should I Stay On Antidepressants And What Else Can I Do?

From now on we will publish weekly posts answering your questions about depression, anxiety and general life-problems. For the first edition of this segment, we are responding to questions for the website Quora. In the future, we hope to answer your questions, so please contact us via email or any of our social media accounts. All questions will be answered without using your name for anonymity.

If someone took medicine for depression, can she stop it or does she have to continue for the rest of life?

I am always hesitant when giving advice on anti-depressants because I don’t want to tread on the doctor’s integrity. With that said, no one should be placed on anti-depressants for life. Anti-depressants should only be taken by those who are suffering from a severe depression and only for a short period of time. Anti-depressants should be used to break the trend of depression and once the trend is reversed (i.e. the patient has gone from a severe depression to a moderate depression) therapy should do the rest.

If being on a pedestal with anti-depressants is good, what can you do or not do to recover your real central peace as you used to have prior to the depression? & What other things can a person try who is suffering from depression and anxiety, if anti-depressants didn’t work for them?

Some people are genetically predisposed to depression. In other words their over-active mind leads them to think about a lot of things, including negative thoughts about themselves. Another type of depression is a symptom of an underlying life problem. Depression can go away momentarily but often returns because the underlying problem has not been solved, or a issue related to that problem has appeared (i.e. family issues). Depression is tackled properly in two steps, 1) solving the root cause of the depression through a structured life plan, and 2) treating the symptom through mindfulness, CBT and meditative practices.

depression and knowing yourself.

What We Do!

Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.

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How do I learn to accept myself as I am? I am 56 years old, post divorce, and have very few friends. I’m recovering from depression but some days are still pretty bad.

Here I suggest some self-examination. You can’t accept who you are unless you know who you are. A lot of people who are coming out of a long-term relationship, have been redefined by that relationship. Over the years they have adjusted their personality to fit with their partner’s and when the relationship suddenly ends, they are left hating themselves because they don’t know who they are without their partner. So, instead of learning to accept yourself, you must learn who you are to the core of your being and rebuild the foundation of you as a person. Another thing to consider in regards to this question is your success metric. You need to define a success metric that suits you and not adhere to the success metric that society has chosen, which says you have to be married, have kids, many friends, a successful career and loads of money in order to be considered successful by other people.

What is the best way to stay alive while I have a major depression?

I answered this question in an earlier article entitled, What To Ask Yourself When Contemplating Suicide. The article and accompanying video aims to give you some perspective on whether you hate life in general or just hate your life. Most people tend to answer that they hate their life. That means that there are circumstances that you can change. If you hated life in general, it would have been a harder issue to solve and in that case I would recommend you contact a suicide hotline immediately.

Another thing you can do is to surround yourself with people. Many people who are suffering from depression tend to exclude their family and peers from their lives because they think that they aren’t fun to be with and would rather wallow in their sadness. This leads to a vicious cycle of thoughts that makes the depression even worse.

Another important thing to do is to maintain daily routines even if you are unemployed and not studying. Have a set time period where you go to the library or a cafe for example. After a while, consider setting goals to give your life greater meaning.

Philip Andersson

Life Coach

Cross Culture Therapy


Depression and the constant search for happiness!

If there is one thing that I think all of us can take solace in, it is the fact that we are all looking for happiness and fulfilment in our lives, whether it is in the relationships we have with other people…

Philip Andersson – Life Coach

Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

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