Antidepressants - Venlafaxine Withdrawal
by Malcolm Hulatt
Complementary Activities To Aid Recovery from Depression
After the patient had suffered for a year from deep depression and the psychiatry professionals had failed to provide any useful help to us, I started to look elsewhere for information to help. I attended a seminar in London run by Mindfields College about recovery from depression without the use of drugs which seemed to have much to offer. Details of their approach is summarised in a booklet (Breaking The Cycle Of Depression by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell) available from them (or from Uncommon Knowledge)
I was also helped by the Depression Learning Path as there seemed to be such a dearth of good information available on depression. This is very strongly of the view that there are many basic things to do which help. These can be summarised as:
- Take exercise. No one said whether it is better to lay on the bed all day or better to get up and do things. Indeed the psychiatrist kept saying that in the “broken leg” phase people should just be left on the bed. We started to walk twice per day and began swimming.
- Do small jobs. A couple of small jobs were allocated to be done by the patient: empty the dishwasher and take out the rubbish. We gradually added more but these had to be done no matter what.
- Maintain contact with the circle of friends. Visits were increased in frequency where appropriate even though the patient didn’t want to bother.
- Practise relaxation by slow deep breathing. This was extremely important and so easy to do. It is covered below in more detail.
- Work with a counsellor who is trained to focus on the things people need to get better.
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