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Hi there. Thanks for your question. I'm sorry you've had to wait for a response but I'm happy to try to help. It sounds like our question is about what strategies you can try to get out of bed in the morning and get started working, have I got that right?
Hi there. I'm glad to hear from you. Wow, it sounds like you have already used a lot of great strategies and are starting to feel a little better. I'm impressed to see you dusting off and using skills. Well done! Now let's see what we can do about the bed magnet. It's so funny that you said that because that's the exact analogy I use with my therapy clients!
It sounds like you are already familiar with CBT. Are you familiar with the Behavioral Activation skill from CBT? Or the Opposite Action skill from DBT?
I'm happy to provide some of that information for you and I'll also send some links.
I’d like to do two things for you today, if that’s ok. The first is to give you some short-term self-help strategies to deal with the symptoms right away. The second is to help you get set up with a good cognitive behavioral therapist or another app or online service that can offer you support and help you with your symptoms in the long term. How does that sound?
So first I'll share some information about opposite action, which is actually something you've already started. Sadness comes with an action urge to withdraw, isolate, and avoid. We know from research and you probably know from your experience that these behaviors actually make depression and sadness worse, even though that's what we feel like doing. Opposite action encourages us to be active when we feel down, to sort of "fake it till you make it" until the sadness lifts. It sounds like you were able to do some of this yesterday, so keep up those good behaviors. I've attached a handout with some more information. Next I'd like to work on a plan to get you out of bed and stay out of bed in the morning. What are three ways to keep yourself out of bed once you're up? For example, do you make your bed right away?
These ware wonderful ideas! So let's summarize a bit because you have listed a number of great ideas and we want to resist the bed magnet. What do you think about (1) getting out of bed and when your feet hit the floor, turn around and make the bed right away? Then when you leave your room to make coffee, (2) shut the door behind you so you don't see the bed (this is called stimulus control). Then (3) coffee, oatmeal and your medications--let's do the trinity together so you don't forget the meds. And yes, coffee in the chair rather than bed is a great idea. If you're having trouble sleeping, it could be due to other activities in bed. Try to limit bed for sex and sleeping only. (4) I like your idea of washing your face/shower/hair/make up, out of pajamas and dressed, even if you don't leave the house. From there you have a number of good ideas to stay busy.
You mentioned not having structured time and that can also be tricky. You mentioned pets--are you an animal lover? Maybe you could volunteer a few days a week for a few hours at a shelter. That could give you something to feel good about and motivate you to get out of the house and the day off to good start.
It sounds like you have a number of apps already that are working for you. I haven't heard of the Fabulous app and I'm glad you sent the link. I learned something today too! :)
I think your idea of taking DBT and CBT worksheets to the counselor you already have a relationship with is a great idea!
I hope this has been helpful. It really has been my pleasure to work with you today. I would love to receive a follow up message from you to see if these strategies are working.
Ruth, it's been wonderful working with you today. I would love to hear from you and answer your questions in the future. I will investigate how we can arrange that and get back to you here with an answer about that (it may not be until Monday when the support staff is back). I'm sorry I can't help with your washer. ;) I hope to hear that you make it to church tomorrow and have a nice weekend!
Hi Ruth. In the future you can reach me directly through this link: https://www.justanswer.com/mental-health/expert-drkertz/ Please be sure to put my name in the subject line. Thank you!