12 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Depression without Medication
1. Learning from Others
I suffered for years having panic attacks followed by a darkness that would come over me sometimes for days. I didn’t know what it was for many years, but one day a friend mentioned that I could be struggling with depression and anxiety. I was devastated when I took a test online and learned that I indeed had symptoms for anxiety and depression. I didn’t know where to turn. Thankfully, there are other people who have gone through similar experiences to share their insights. If I didn’t have valuable resources and other people to help me, I wouldn’t have survived because at my lowest point, I was considering suicide.
A website with great information is: http://www.discoveringlight.com, which highlights a book that includes all the ways that were able to help me in overcoming anxiety and depression.
I didn’t want to use drugs to overcome anxiety and depression, so I turned to others for advice, such as that found in the book: Discovering Light. Discovering Light is a #1 Amazon bestseller and a book that has valuable insights in the category of overcoming anxiety and depression and contains a person’s journey in overcoming anxiety and depression without drugs. This book not only highlights the story of someone who suffered from anxiety and depression and overcame it, but it
Simply click on the image of the book, or the link below to learn more:
My friend also referred me to use self study programs, which were very cost effective and helpful for me as well. They referred me to a sites similar to the ones listed below:
2. Desire to Overcome
After I found out I had both anxiety and depression, I had an intense desire to overcome anxiety and depression. I wanted a normal life back and held an image of that in my mind. It was very hard, at times, and I sometimes lost hope and would just sit and stare at the walls wondering if I would ever make any progress. Thankfully, there were many resources that helped give me hope to keep looking forward and to not give up. One of the books below, Discovering Light contains many valuable insights and references to other books that helped me maintain a hope and desire to overcome anxiety and depression without medication. This desire led me to complete the other steps.
3. Faith in God
Alma Chapter 34: 32-34 was what kept me moving ahead.
When I had serious depression and thoughts of life being better if I weren’t alive, I remembered this scripture. I believe that the same spirit we possess now will be with us even after we die, so if I don’t deal with it now I’ll be dealing with worse things later.
5. Home Study Programs
A friend of mine told me about an in home program and how they had used to overcome anxiety and depression without medication. I had tried taking medication, but it didn’t feel right to me so I quit. This program was a very useful tool for me and I still refer to it often. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with anxiety and/or depression. This book describes in detail how to use the in home study program along with the benefits involved. In home programs played a crucial role in overcoming anxiety and depression.
Below is a list of very effective in home programs that are both time and cost effective and recommended:
6. Talking with a coach or mentor.
Many people who deal with certain issues from their childhood such as I did with abandonment develop negative addictions. For me, talking with clergy was somewhat helpful, but bishops aren’t usually trained to handle these issues. I was referred to a different program that helped me overcome my addictions and also train my thoughts. Bishops know where these resources are. If you are not a member of the LDS church, you can also look up various agencies such as: alcoholics anonymous, sex addicts anonymous, etc. I think they have organizations for people who use drugs, have eating addictions, etc. I believe that most of these programs will have a 12-step approach. I found these to be very, very helpful. There is a list of various resources outlined in detail in this book.
Again in Alma 34, it talks about praying for everything important in one’s life. This links back to step #2, but I can’t emphasize enough how important faith in God and prayer are. Through this experience I learned how God cares about me personally…especially when I’m at my “worst”. I say this in quotes because we are never bad in God’s sight, no matter how good or bad our behaviors are he views us and loves us the same.
Through prayer and meditation, I was able to learn how to focus and control my mind. I am very grateful to God for the gift of prayer and know that miracles happen as a result of sincere, humble, faithful prayers and patience.
If you are interested in learning powerful meditation techniques check out the following programs:
8. Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP was the key to me being able to move from just managing anxiety and depression to completely overcoming it. NLP is another tool I used to clear my subconscious mind. I worked with two coaches who used NLP on me to clear negative experiences I had seared into my subconscious mind that were affecting my behaviors. This is another highly recommended tool. The book contains a whole chapter dedicated to NLP.
Some very good programs to learn about re-programming our subconsious minds are:
9. Learning to control thoughts
Proverbs 23:7 says: “as he (or she) thinks in his (or her) heart, so is he (or she)”. This is true. I think this is something all of us will be working on throughout our lives. However, learning to control our thoughts is essential. I wrote another post a couple of months ago on how to overcome negative thoughts and provided a few techniques I use. The post is called “The Gifts of the Spirit: Overcoming Negative Thoughts and Speaking with the Tongue of Angels”. In addition to that article, Discovering Light has very detailed information on learning to control thoughts and how to train our minds. If we do not learn this skill, we will not be able to overcome anxiety and depression.
The Quantum Mind Power program is a good resource too.
10. Have a daily routine/Healthy Living (Exercise and Nutrition)
Having a daily routine helps me a lot. I notice that I do much better when in a familiar environment surrounded with positive things. For me, this is my daily routine: Wake up, pray, exercise, read scriptures, make breakfast for my wife, think about daily goals, work, come home and either relax or do house chores, etc., read scriptures with wife, pray, go to bed. Sticking to this schedule keeps me focused and my attitude stays much more positive.
Eating a lot of healthy breads, fruits, protein, and some meat has helped me a lot. Staying away from sugar and caffeine is essential as well. I’ve found that the promise in the Word of Wisdom is true in that I receive more health by following its counsel.
Although these suggestions are good, there is even more involved with eating properly and taking care of our bodies. A complete chapter is dedicated to nutrition and how it plays a role in being able to overcome anxiety and depression. In addition, the following programs on nutrition and exercise are available:
11. Keep a Gratitude Journal
The book Real Men Do Cry has a great reference on counting our blessings and how gratitude can change our mood. I found this to be true in my situation as well. I keep track of all the positive things that happened to me and at the end of the day I write them down. This keeps me in a positive state and away from dwelling on the negative.
For someone who has struggled with anxiety, relaxing is a learned technique. There are certain activities, music, and thought control techniques needed in order to train our minds to relax instead of fly into “fight or flight” mode.
I found Reiki and meditation to be very relaxing and would recommend checking the following programs out:
In conclusion, I know that if you are struggling with anxiety and/or depression how hard it can be. Some of you may be on medication and that might be necessary or even mandatory for you, which is fine. My main purpose is to share some things that have helped me and I encourage you to incorporate any of these things, if you haven’t already. Also, please feel free to share any additional things that have helped you so other readers can benefit from it.
I also want my readers to know that I know that God hears your prayers and will answer them in due time. I’ve learned to be grateful for my experiences with anxiety and depression because I’ve learned how dependent I truly am on God and have see how great His hand can be in my life if I stay close to Him. I pray that we can all stay close to our Father in Heaven and know that if we do, he’ll lead us through the dark and discouraging times on our lives.