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Depression Self Help Info, Issue #004 -- Fighting Depression Across The Continents
July 26, 2012

Fighting Depression Across The Continents

Travelling can bring wonderful feelings of excitement and adventure. The thrill of going somewhere new. The interest of learning new cultures. The wonder of architecture and art.

Consider also the possibility of losing your job and income, your employer taking advantage of you because foreign labor laws do not apply to you. Watching your child not progress in school because of the new language challenges. Uprooting your family after only 10 months of having moved to a whole new country. A country where they don’t speak your language, a job where you were told you’ll easily remain for years without any issues, only to have your salary cut as soon as you settle.

Moving a household and family is a major cause of stress for people. Moving to a new continent and paying for it out of your own savings may be considered worse.

I am not sure how I managed “not” to fall into depression. Sometimes I do not understand the mechanics any more. I used to feel suicidal for a lot less reasons. Now I feel stress, tension, and anxiety at times, but I’ve been depression free. The negative feelings have only been temporary. My ability to jump back has been astonishing for my own standards.

What do I attribute the lack of depression, and more importantly my resilience? I honestly do not know. I do know one thing. As I am back in North America, and observe others attitudes, cultures and habits, I can say I find some major habits between what I do and the general population. These habits obviously keep me physically healthier than others, but emotional health seems to play a factor as well.

I started these habits as a challenge, and an experiment on myself in my battle with depression. One year of the following changes in habits:

1. Skip processed sugar. Yes any and all processed sugar. No sugared carbonated drinks, no deserts, no ice creams, no candy bars, nothing. When I shop for groceries I tend to look at ingredients and select only what has the very minimum to no sugars added. My wife now knows what I’ll eat or not, and is pretty good at selecting ingredients for me. In the beginning this was difficult, especially since I have small children who love their sweets. I craved for the sweets that we’d allow them to eat, but over time the sugar craving went away.

2. Skip caffeine. Yes I was certifiably addicted to caffeine. Especially coffee. Coke was my soda of choice when coffee was not available. Even as I write this I have a small craving pain in my head for the sugared, caffeinated-high that cola can give me. That hasn’t happened in many months. But it teaches me the strength of addiction.

3. Kein alcohol. As in “none.” Alcohol is a depressant. It was easy to figure out what to leave out of my body if I know I am susceptible to depression.

You may scoff at at these habits. I say “nonsense.” These limitations have freed me from the grasps of depression medication, improved my stamina, balanced my sleep rhythm and most importantly gave me back the resilience I needed during stressful times.

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