Do You Have a Written Coping or Distraction Plan?
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff posted:
Taking action to manage your depression is especially difficult when your depression has become unmanageable and overwhelming.

Do you have a coping plan in place to break a depressive cycle, manage triggers or recognize symptoms when they come creeping in?

Take some time when your depression is managed to write out a plan for coping.

  • Talk with your doctor or therapist to craft a plan for "When I am feeling ____ or I am doing ____, I need to ________."
  • Come up with a list of tools for distraction - For example, go for a walk, call a trusted friend, get involved with a project, art, writing, crafting, gardening, etc.
  • Plan for a crisis - Make a list of names and numbers of those you trust, doctors and health professionals, local and national crisis hotlines. Write instructions for yourself.

Share your ideas for coping and managing triggers. What distraction techniques do you use? How do you reach out for help? What advice do you give to those who are having trouble breaking a depressive cycle?

chez1 responded:
Hi Elizabeth,
I think this is a great topic to highlight. I have a "safety plan" that was written with me and my psychologist. The points you have above are all on my plan. Sadly, I have had to use it a few times, I have to say at the time it makes me mad and feel useless but when the crisis is past I am always grateful that I have had it.
For me, managing the triggers comes with early understanding of what is happening, in me it comes with physical discomfort, pain in stomach, difficulty breathing, feeling enclosed - at these times I try and take myself out of the situation, either by going for a walk or a drive (I have to think safety for the car), if I get in at that point it generally works well. It does take an element of discipline and positive thinking.
When things get worse, I try to focus on the kids and tell myself it is just a feeling and that it will pass.
My favourite phrase and almost chant is "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem" at my lowest points I have been known to call the crisis lines.
Thank you for this post, I hope others are able to share experiences.
Hugs to all x
People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily....... Zig Ziglar
Unnormal responded:
It isn't a bad idea, but I think they can often be to formulaic. In that depression doesn't always come at us in A B and C order. In addition to other tools and support systems it is a good idea.