anxiety, bipolar, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, life, mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd

Depression and Difficulty with Taking Care of Yourself…Be Your Own Nurse

Depression wears you down and drains your energy. The amount of energy required to get it together and take a shower is tremendous, nevermind doing anything with our hair and make-up. It feels like we have to literally drag ourselves around to do anything.

Making dinner is an effort so we often don’t eat or just open a can of something or other. We deprive ourselves of proper nutrition because it is too confusing to keep track of that when our own thoughts are consuming us.

Besides the lack of energy, we don’t really see the point in taking care of ourselves. We feel hopeless and worthless and it just seems like it is not worth the effort. It is not like we are trying to impress anyone. There does not seem to be any hope of anything improving in our lives.

We will neglect our personal hygiene like taking showers, brushing our teeth and brushing our hair. We do not feel up to going to the beauty parlor.

We may have some vague recollection of feeling attractive, but we do not feel that way anymore. It feels like we can barely get through the day, Our minds are occupied with running thoughts that are extremely painful to keep listening to over and over.

Time passes differently and we are not even aware what time of day it is or how much time has passed sometimes. I have had times when three hours had gone by and I thought it was a half an hour  at most. This time confusion also makes it hard to figure out what to do and when to take care of our basic needs.

When we are in a state of severe mental torment, caring for ourselves just seems like a waste of energy. There is confusion in our minds and we have problems remembering things. A simple thing like organizing our day or making ourselves lunch, feels like a difficult task.

Our appetites are low and we do not feel like eating. or we overeat to make up for feelings of emptiness inside. Either way, our diets become unbalanced. We starve ourselves of proper nutrition and also exercise.

We do not feel good about how we look in the mirror.   The mirror tells us we are neglecting our personal care and basic needs. The mirror tells us , but we do not know what to do about it.

The problem is that when we neglect our personal care and our diet, it makes the depression worse. Our self esteem about how we look goes down. Our self esteem goes down regarding our ability to function normally like others do.

Bad nutrition will make our bodies and brains weak and less effective. Our thought processes will be slowed. Our ability to fight off infection is lower. All of these things will increase depression.

The chemicals in the brain are affected by the intake of nutrients from food.  When we do not eat properly,  our brains become more chemically off balance, as we continue to neglect eating proper meals.  It is a spiraling cycle into deeper depression.

It is very difficult to begin taking care of ourselves if we have been out of the habit for a long time. It requires “baby steps” to get back on the right track. We have take small steps to take care of ourselves and nurse ourselves back to health.

Think of yourself as a patient in the hospital. Your bed is a hospital bed. You also have to play the role of the nurse.

The nurse will encourage the patient to take a shower because you will feel better if you do. The nurse will bring food to the patient at regular times and encourage them to eat because the body needs to be strengthened.

Play the hospital game and pretend you are a wonderful nurse, taking care of a favorite patient. Encourage yourself to eat a few bites of healthy food. Have some nice soup  hot chocolate.

Think of what you would order , if you were in the hospital.  Encourage and be kind to yourself about personal care. Get out of bed for fifteen minutes an walk around the “hospital” a little bit.

Be your own  nurse and see how it helps. 🙂



19 thoughts on “Depression and Difficulty with Taking Care of Yourself…Be Your Own Nurse”

  1. This is a huge problem for me. It has been for literally 20 years. No exaggeration. I can’t relate to being my own nurse…if I could do that, I would. I wish I could. But the post is encouraging because I know that I’m not the only one in the world that struggles with all of the things you mentioned. My psych. has me trying to do 5 simple things (stay out of bed 2 hours; read in my psych. book, get dressed, a few minutes of light exercise; and write in my blog. I’ve been trying to do these for 6 months and have yet to complete 1 day accomplishing all 5. Anyway…thanks for letting me ramble….hugs, Hope

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes we are helpless to do anything. It would be so nice to have someone to take care of us. Nice dreams…
      My thoughts are with you. I am usually still awake at 3 or 4 am, like now for instance. The anxiety is bad. Sometimes the actual situations in our lives are so overwhelming and depressing that no anxiety technique or “herbal tea” will help.
      Thinking of you…
      Going to try to quiet my fears and go to sleep now…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. So sorry to hear about your prolonged depression 😦 I guess you have treatment resistant depression. They are having great results taking people out of depressions with a drug called Ketamine and Transcranial magnetic stimulation is also another modality that helps relieve symptoms of depression. Maybe you can ask your doctor about trying one of those. Hang on, have hope, there is help available! xxxxoooo I just realized what I said, have hope, you ARE Hope! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me for you to take the time to share your concern and thoughts. I do have treatment resistant depression. I have been on every cocktail of depression/mood stabelizers/anti-anxiety drugs for over 20 years. I finally got so bad that suicide was a daily/hourly thought and I’ve been hospitalized twice for almost succeeding. I’ve asked my psychologist and psychiatrist (who I see 2 a week for over 2 years) to consider those treatments for me. Both are extremely expensive and both are extremely lengthy treatments months of daily or weekly visits that last all day. Both would require me to travel very far from home. But with all that said, I’d be willing to do either one of them because of the success they seem to be achieving with people like me.
        Yesterday, when I wrote this post, I was very stressed because I had to attend a wedding of my best friend. There was no way to avoid it and I felt extreme anxiety and was in a panic attack when I wrote it. My psychologist and I talked via email and she helped me get there step by step. I’m so glad I did. This morning, I’m feeling better. It is just a clear example of how borderline personality disorder works…we are like bi-polar, but our mood swings happen at a moments notice and fluctuate all day long sometimes. I’ve been told that BPD is more like PTSD then anything else. I a getting better with DBT and ACT therapy. They are really really helping me. I do have hope. It’s slow and hard, but I do have hope. Thank you friend, for listening to my ramblings. May you be well and thanks again for your comment, I rarely get any and they mean so much. Hugs, Hope

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I am so glad you are getting help. It’s not easy, but we, the ones who suffer from these mental illnesses, have to be strong and perseverant, and fight till we feel better. I wish you success in your battle! We bloggers are all here for each other, and I am here for you. xxxooo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have a referral of sorts for the behaviour health center. I am in the process of applying for charity care for the system.
        I will make an appt when all that goes through.
        Thank you for caring and for the ideas.
        much love,

        Liked by 2 people

    3. You are doing good to reach out here and to write your blog. I feel that the blogging helps. Getting mental health treatment is always tricky with the system being as it is.
      That is amazing that your therapist helped you over the phone about the wedding. They must be a caring person.
      I am glad you have that.
      You deserve to have support and help when you need it.
      Much love,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blogging helps immensely. Knowing we aren’t alone is huge. I went to the wedding and it was so hard to do. I fought going with every ounce I had. But my husband and my psych. said I should go because to be there would be a wonderful memory and enrich my life. She told me to take my anxiety with me, not to fight it…and that’s what I did. You should read my post called Aunt Agnus. How did the wedding go? It was wonderful and I forever be grateful that I went. Hugs, Hope

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this post! Your description of depression is so true and what is really, absolutely great is your idea of treating yourself as a favorite patient! So many times, when in a depression, we feel worthless and our inner dialogue is nasty and so negative towards ourselves. So being the compassionate nurse for yourself is genius! One of my really smart friends said something similar to me and I have been meaning to blog about it. Thanks also, for providing the impetus to write my post! Love and hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love when I read another person’s post and it inspires me to write something. One idea from another person can get your own brain working on your own original ideas!
      I am so happy with the things you said to me in this comment.
      Thank you,

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this approach to helping yourself out of the deep, dark state of depression. I think you described this disease perfectly, too! We can beat this. One step at a time.


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