“What should I do? I’m 20 years old and have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. I have been without my 4 medications for over a month and still (despite exhausting almost every available option) cannot be seen by a psychiatrist until the end of next month. Two months ago I moved, and my psychiatrist of 8 years was forced to close my case. Also, my insurance changed recently so that has been causing a lot of problems. Lately I’ve been so depressed I literally cannot function. I went from a straight-A college student managing a double major to just a hopeless, mixed-up kid in a little over a month. Bipolar disorder as well as substance abuse ruined my mom’s life; I just don’t want to end up the same way. Please help!”
There are numerous treatment alternatives for depression, that do not involve medication. Although, I have not gone through every single one, myself, I have come into a few natural ways to combat my extreme depressive moods. My number one favorite would be communicative expression that involves talking things out with someone else. This other person doesn’t have to be a certified professional, either. I have found myself crying it out to my more patient friends and family members, when I could not afford to see my therapist. Honestly, in my opinion, talking it out with my friends worked better than with my counselor. Another nice natural focus to try would be getting out and doing something. Literally anything that does not put you or anyone else in harm. I have come to realize waking up early and starting my morning by getting up and ready even if I have nowhere to go or nothing to actually do. This creates a pseudo preparation that kind of gives that push to get up and out of bed. Sometimes this even leads to me making plans and going out. I’ve done this so much that whenever I don’t start my day this way, I feel like I’m wasting a day – which could propel you into a better mood or make things worse, depending on how you accept your moods. There are foods that are said to ease depression just as much as prescription drugs. Omega -3 fatty acids are a big help in my book. You can purchase the food supplement in any drugstore, or break into some walnuts or smack down on an oil supple fish like tuna. Brown rice, cabbage, and whole grain are also mentioned as depression fighters, although I have not experienced that route.
Avoid smoking, alcohol, foods high in fat and sugar. Last thing you would want to do is end up in a drunken sugar coma, while already depressed -O.K. I’m allowed to joke around, ha ha. Speaking of joking, laughter is one of the best daily doses for almost every ailment, including depression!
Big moves and having new insurance can stress anyone out let alone someone with a mental illness including depression and anxiety. This goes without saying, but try to eliminate any stress or big changes in your life. Stress can bottle you up and take you down if too much is coming in to quickly.
The next and final bit of advice I have for you would be to try contacting a low cost or volunteer counselor and psychiatrist in the area. most churches and mental illness non-profit organizations have connections with professionals willing to help you at little or no cost at all. Even if talk therapy is all they can offer, that is one step closer to getting everything back into place before seeing you new doctor.
Wishing you happy ventures in your non-medicated journey.