What triggers a relapse? Every one is different. For me, a lack of deep sleep will trigger and almost immediate reaction. If I’m feeling ungrateful this is another one of my signs. If suicide in flit through my mind, I know my medication needs to be adjusted.
It is important to know your common triggers such as health problems, stressful events, alcohol use, loss to death or divorce, or focusing on negative events and thoughts.
Negative thinking invite stress. Reacting strongly to small events as though they were major catastrophe summons anxiety that can lead to relapse. Overgeneralized thinking takes one negative event and interprets every situation through that lens. Another type of faulty interpretation is all or nothing thinking, when we see events as either all good or all bad, with no in between.
Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness are cues for possible relapse. Withdrawing from people or becoming argumentative maybe one of your patterns.
Perhaps you have learned to chart events, your thoughts about them, and subsequent feelings. This kind of timeline is helpful using your problem-solving skills.
Reflect on your thinking patterns. Are your perceptions to distorted? Are you over reactive? Getting feedback from trusted friends can help you identify thinking traps you should choose to anticipate stressful events.
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”. This prophecy was given to the Hebrews that were in captivity. The circumstances looked bleak, and their captivity lasted seventy years. It was in these difficult circumstances God gave this promise.
In captivity and depression, we feel trapped, but these difficulties are not God’s last word. God has a plan that is far greater than anything we can imagine. We must keep looking up and beyond our depression. In our troubles, it is essential we keep our eyes on his promises.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
God give me tools to manage my depression.