Throughout the week Dr Tim Anstiss has been answering questions around depression, mental health and wellbeing from the Black Dog Tribe community.
Below is Dr Tim's answer to the final question sent in on Friday 27th April:
Q: I am on anti-depressants and beta blockers. I want to get my life back. My doctor and friends have recommended exercise and counselling. What else can I do to feel confident and positive again? And do you recommend any books? - Christine
A: Many people find counselling and exercise helpful when they are depressed. Some forms of talking may be more effective than others - and you might want to ask for cognitive-behaviour therapy by name if you choose this route. Beta blockers can sometimes stop the heart rate speeding up, and this can interfere with the body’s response to exercise, so do have another chat with your doctor if you want to explore that option further. Although going for a 30 min brisk walk 5 x a week shouldn't be a problem. And do bear in mind that it will still probably take a few weeks of this activity before you may start to feel significantly better - so keep at it.
Sometimes we think we will do things when we have the motivation. But some things we have to do things to get the motivation.
With regard to other activities which can help people recover, protect and improve their wellbeing, I posted a list yesterday. And you will find some of my preferred self-help books listed in earlier responses to people’s questions.
The good news is that there are a range of things which science shows seems to help people with depression become un-depressed, but it may take some time and support from others before things start to feel better.
Thanks for asking, and good luck.