Depression, Anxiety, Addiction



What is your name?
My name is Chris.

What are you dealing with?
I deal with the depression, anxiety, and addiction issues.

How long have you been dealing with it?
Probably all my life. I’m fifty now.

What are some of your coping strategies?
So I have healthy and unhealthy coping strategies and unhealthy ones have to do with addictions mostly like drinking and marijuana use, and I find that they don’t work at all. And another unhealthy one is how I manage stress in my life and I got to be able to deal with it better than I have. But healthy ones that I have I find are exercising are good and being outside. I really have to fight depression. I have to fight it with all I got just to get up and get out, but once I do make those steps the depression eases. So I find it’s really hard to do and it’s really tough. But if you can anybody, including myself, stay and fight it and don’t let it win then you’re on the road to recovery.

How has depression affected your work abilities?
Depression has affected my work horribly because I used to just jump from job to job to job to job and I couldn’t stay at any particular job for any length of time. And that’s really horrible actually and I don’t know. It was mentally tough not being able to keep jobs but I was always wanting to quit because I couldn’t handle the stress. My home life probably wasn’t that good. Numbers of times I got admitted to hospital. I attempted suicide. And so that didn’t really help my work out because I was unstable. So I find that one I get in to a good place where I have been recently is that I’m stable, I got a good frame of mind, and I keep doing healthy things.

So what are some goals?
I have goals. My goals for the future, and with my depression are trying to stay positive. I’m going to try my best to stay positive. I know what don’t work so I have to stay away from those. In regards to depression, if I have to take antidepressants for the rest of my life I’ll take them for the rest of my

life. But with that being said I’m going to go in a positive frame of mind and I also want to try to help people and get involved because I find if you help people with depression and they realize that you’ve been there you’ve got a better chance of helping people and by helping people you help yourself. I think that’s really, really important, and that’s a lot of the reason why I’m doing this today is to send out the message that ‘hey if you fight the fight we can beat this’ and you’re not alone, nobody’s alone. It may feel like it but you’re not and you know everybody has different struggles, mental illness and depression is one and it can be beat. I’m proof.

Do you think you can live positively while dealing with something labeled so negatively?
Absolutely I have to live positively because if I let the negativeness of depression and everything seep in then it’s when. So I got to always keep in mind to be positive. And by being positive and feeling well, because I find positiveness comes from within, and if you exude positiveness that depression can’t eat away at you. You’re winning the battle and I find that you’ve got to stay positive and all the negativeness that goes on about depression. I’m going stay positive myself and help people and try to turn people’s negativeness into positiveness and if everybody that suffered from depression that then depression would be beaten.

So what advice would you give individuals dealing with mental health issues?
My main advice to give people with mental health issues are dealing with depression or anxiety is to seek help. First of all get help, if you need to get help, and talk to people. You know if you can talk to your family or your loved ones there are professionals out there and that’s what I did. I called a twenty-four hour helpline crying and didn’t know where to turn. From there they helped me get the ball rolling and I was so glad that they were there for me. So my main thing is to talk and and tell people because some people don’t know what you’re going through and you don’t have to do it alone.

So besides the crisis hotline what else have you done to help yourself if you were in a situation where you needed individuals to help you?
I went to group counseling actually and everybody there was dealing with mental health issues. I checked myself in the hospital on a number of occasions, but most recently I attended group counseling. I went to see that two doctors a G.P. And a psychiatrist to help me and I also had a therapist to help me. And what happened was they put me on the right path. A lot of it is in your thinking and it and I was really negative in my thinking so they were beating it into me to think more positively about myself and all the good things. That really helped a lot that I’ve done that I followed through and never missed an appointment because there’s life on the line and right now it’s worked for me great. I don’t even see a therapist or anything anymore now but I know the signs that if I get unwell I have to see somebody.Any advice for individuals?
Another thing that I find that would help people suffering from mental illnesses are if your in unhealthy situations, like an unhealthy home or an unhealthy friends that hang out with, you got to change your lifestyle. And change it for a healthier way. If you’re hanging with people that party and drink, that’s all depressants. It ain’t going to help your mental health. So you have to change. You may have to change your whole life around healthier things and that’s what I’ve done and so far it’s working. I’m here.