Learn how to discover the real you – free from depression and anxiety

Will I always be anxious and depressed?

Many people assume that they are naturally anxious, or naturally depressed, believing they will always be that way. It’s understandable to assume this, particularly if it’s all you’ve ever known, if you can’t recall a you before the depression or anxiety.
We also see lots of examples around us of people that never get better. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Quite the opposite. Therapy is highly effective for depression and anxiety, change is difficult of course, but you absolutely do not need to live a life that is ruled forever by these problems.

What is the real me?

I promise you there is a real you there. You might feel lost as to what that looks like, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Think of it as the real you is underneath the symptoms of depression and anxiety. That’s why the symptoms distress us, because they take us away from the real us, have us living a life that isn’t meant for us.

But the real you has desires, hopes, instincts, etc. But the problematic emotions stop us living that life. Instead we end up living a life that makes us miserable, that causes us to react irrationally, make choices that oppose our desires, believe thoughts that aren’t true, sabotage our work and relationships etc.

The further apart the real us is from the version we are living day to day, the more distressed, frustrated and stuck we will feel.

How can I discover the real me?

A useful starting point can be to start to create a couple of lists. List one is the things we currently do that we would like to stop (as we know they don’t help us). List two is the things we wish we could do (but currently feel unable to).

As an example, for depression:

List one:
Bullying myself with my words
Hiding/hibernating when I feel low
Staying up to late resulting in poor sleep
Comfort eating
Pushing people away
Drinking too much alcohol
Procrastinating

List two:
Believe in myself
Ask for help
Increase my hobbies
Communicate emotionally with loved ones
Develop healthy sleeping and eating habits
Plan things to look forward to

Of course we can’t change these things overnight. But it helps us to see the direction we are currently going in, versus the direction we want to go in.
From this try to identify weekly steps towards this change process.

Therapy can help you to become the real and authentic you again. To make the gap smaller between what you really want and what you are actually doing.
It can also help you to identify what things should be on which list. It’s common when I see people in therapy that there’s some bits they are really aware of that they want to stop, and things they know they want to be able to do. But there’s also things they do that are harmful to their wellbeing that they don’t yet recognise as they are habits of a lifetime, and things they’ve not considered are possible for the future as their perception is so clouded by feelings of depression or anxiety.

If you’ve found this blog useful, take a look at some of my other blogs.
You can also follow me on social media: Hannah Paskin Therapy