Using All of Your Coping With Depression Skills
I have had one hell of a week. It has been a week of emotional lows with very few highs. It has been a week where I have had to use all of my coping with depression skills.
Last Monday, I had to make a very difficult decision - to go through with a very costly surgery for my dog, or to put her down. Some people may not understand the agony involved in having to make such a decision. Regardless, the range of emotions I lived through had me tapping into all of the self-help techniques I had learned on coping with my depression.
I've had my dog since 2008 when I rescued her from a shelter. She was 18 months old and from the moment I saw her picture online, she was for me. We have a very strong bond, her and I, so much so that she knows when I'm depressed. Seeing her in so much pain was brutal. Deciding on surgery versus euthanasia was torture. Would the surgery work? Would she be in pain afterwards? Would she recover? What if she dies on the table? Would it happen again? It's one of those ailments that could happen again. If it happened again, what would I do then?
And that's how it went - should I; shouldn't I; would she; wouldn't she. Back and forth - tears, then pragmatism, then sorrow, then denial, then optimism, then fear, then reality, then more tears, then weighing the pros and the cons, then deciding (Depression and Indecision: Trouble Making Decisions).
I decided on the surgery, which she had last Thursday. Today, Sunday, the issue causing her all the pain has been dealt with and she is recovering. My bank account is in the red but my sweet dog is alive - for now, at least.
Use all of your skills to cope with depression
So, what did I do to cope? First and foremost, I called in a few members of my support team. Next, I tried as hard as I could to be positive - not at all easy to do given the circumstances. I tried to focus on what was best for my dog knowing that what may be good for me may not be good for her. I gave thanks for having her in my life. When I could, I kept busy. I'd like to say that I ate healthy food and exercised, but I didn't. I'm a stress eater so I ate a few of the foods that make me feel better (chocolate, chips, etc.) and I made sure not to feel guilty about it (Top 10 Things to Help Battle Depression).
My dog's recovery will take several weeks, months even. Ongoing, we will have to be diligent to help keep flare ups at bay and prevent a major episode from happening again.
Much like my depression.
Keeping depression at bay is an ongoing, sometimes brutal, challenge. This week, I had to use all of my coping with depression skills to get me through a very difficult time.
Photo By Ambro, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Scott, L. (2014, February 9). Using All of Your Coping With Depression Skills, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/02/using-all-of-your-coping-with-depression
Author: Liana M Scott
Hi Liana, I am terribly sorry for your loss. I have been through it far too many times, and it never gets easier.
I want to thank you for mentioning something in particular. In your arsenal of coping skills, you mentioned eating the foods that make you feel better (like chocolate, chips, etc.) I am so grateful to see someone else who does this! The majority of suggestions for coping with Depression involve eating healthy foods and exercising. While I understand the value of those things, they simply don't help when you're in the pit of despair that is Depression.
Thank you for challenging popular opinion, and for making me feel less alone.
I hope your pooch gets well soon. My dogs past and present are my life. The luv is incredible. We had a long haired German Shepard who we called the ten million dollar dog. Lol. She had pemphigus on her nose so it was a treatable but would need ongoing care. From age of five to nine when she died of cancer was at the vet once a month. She had a dermatologist,neurologist and internal medicine vets. Got an infection in her spine and had a MRI of spine and once a month X-rays and antibiotics for about nine months. Then had two CT scans of the head and two nasal endoscopy surgeries. Was on a medicacion that was 380.00 dollars a month along with her once a month derm appointments. She was not suffering was still as goofy and happy as ever just ongoing treatments. It was the best money ever spent and now our new Shepard has fear aggression. We went to lots of trainers and took her to a behaviorist that put her on meds. Only positive training. Then she had diarrhea all over the house for a couple months and had a parasite then it turned out she has a pancreatic insufficiency that will require meds for the rest of her life. Her B12 was really low which might explain aggression but had B12 shots once a week for 6 weeks,then every other week for 6 weeks and once a month for 6 weeks. We are naming her the 15 million dollar dog. But they are actually priceless. So we understand your situation. The things we do for our lovable poochies. Hope all goes well and give her a scratch and a hug and big kiss from our family
Hi Lisa. You really DO know what it's like. My dog is resting and recovering comfortably tho she is making a few more ouchy yelps than I would like. Keeping a very close eye. Thanks for the post and for the hug and kiss for her. I will deliver it promptly. <3
Liana, I hope you and your dog are doing better. Take care.
Hi Judy. My dog is recovering slowly... as am I (thankfully). Thank you so much for commenting.
I had to face that with my dog after he was in a car accident. He survived and I was in the red. He is now 6 and still manages to slip away with all my best intentions to hold onto him. I'm grateful to have him.
Hi Susan. I'm so glad he's with you too.
Pets are a big part of our health so I can imagine how stressful your decision was. I have a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (W.R.A.P.) to help me deal with the triggers you described in the stress of a sick pet. It keeps things that come out of the blue and I have no control over from aggravating my bipolar disorder.
I like that!
Pets are amazing therapy!
Thanks for commenting. :-)
I'm sorry that you had to go through that and that you dog needed surgery. I hope everything goes well from now on with your dog. Although I know how you feel. About 6 years ago I had to put my beloved dog to sleep, she was 14, but still it was very hard and I ended up in a psych hospital one month later. I had a complete breakdown. My dog I have now has eye problems, she's 5. I hope everything goes well with her. I don't think putting her to sleep will be an option but I'm sure I will have hard decisions to make.
I hope your dog heals real fast.
Hi Michele. I'm so sorry about your sweet dog that you had to put down and that you suffered so severely. It is such a hard decision. I'm glad you have a new dog to share you life and your love with. So far - my puppy (she's 7 but I call her puppy anyway) is doing ok. Fingers crossed. <3