Anxiety and Depression

My name is @IanRobertM and I suffer from Anxiety & Depression…

I thought it might be useful and maybe helpful (?), to start a Thread on this.
It is similar or related to this -

My first brush with this was when my mother died when I was 20 (back in 1978). She had a Brain Tumour which back then, was not considered treatable (CT Scanners were still very new). I got over that, using just will power - no meds.

Fast Forward to much more recent times and I managed to have 2 further episodes, brought about by relationship problems - one being a divorce. Both involved meds. I am still on meds from this 2nd episode ( Vortioxetine and Quetiapine), having ‘proved’ previously that getting off meds doesn’t seem to work - for me… :slightly_frowning_face:

Now, I am sort of ‘OK’ - I can survive (which is important…!), but often feel lacking in motivation to do very much.

To bring it back to HiFi, I have a great system - but I rarely use it… :cry: To enjoy music, I need to feel… something. Buying new music can help - if that purchase hits the spot - but often that’s not the case…

Not looking for direct answers here, just hoping others might relate to my experience - which in itself might help me - and others… :thinking:


What hobbies or pastimes do you you have, if any?

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Thank you for asking… @Neilb1906

Well… HiFi (obviously…) and Music. I take Guitar lessons, once a week - and am working through the Rock School Grades (G2 done, G3 in progress). I have also built a number of so-called ‘Partscaster’ guitars, for my own use.

What is a Partscaster…?

I work as volunteer Station Staff at the Great Central Railway’s Loughborough Station, a couple of days per month. I can do this because I am no longer in paid employment.

I am also a Scandi Noir fan - both in written and TV forms. C4’s Walter Presents a regular watch - as are similar things on Netflix.

I recognise I have too much time - and not enough to do… But the motivation and interest is in short supply, sadly.

To help manage my mental health, I talk with a counsellor regularly. This is private - and long stading.

Does that help at all…?

Thanks for your candid reply. Its great that you have your interests and hobbies.
I too am a musician and play in a band ( have done for over 30 years) and we have just finished recording, mixing and mastering our first proper LP !
The process, after 30 years in the Police Service has been crucial to my welfare and stability, along with cycling and HiFi.
The issue I had initially was recognising that my anxiety was actually a “habit”. I was so used to stress and anxiety in my old job , my system continued to be addicted in a way to being in an anxious state. That took time to shake off.
Your case may well be totally different, but don’t be bullied by it.


But that’s a problem many, many people have and especially people who’ve retired.

Yay…! Sounds good… :crazy_face:

I do enjoy working with Electric Guitars - so maybe… I just just carry on building them…? I don’t believe its very easy to actually make any money doing this… But does that matter…? So long as I don’t loose too much… Something to fill my time…?

(stupid asking a Musician this question, really… :crazy_face: )

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Sorry, to hear of your troubles. I have flirted with depression in the past, but I keep myself occupied to keep it in its box.

Have you thought of doing something entirely new, and completely random?

For example, read all the novels of Charles Dickens, Iain Sinclair, or whoever. (Anyone other than Thomas Hardy, whose novels became increasingly dark.)

Or listen to each of The Beatles, The Doors or Led Zeppelin’s albums.

Or the symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner.

Get into the habit of making yourself finish each day’s cryptic crossword in The Times, The Grauniad, or The Telegraph.

Some people find physical exercise a great release. Take up jogging, move up in distance and try, say, the London Marathon.

Just a few ideas. Others will have lots more.


Yes, this is true. But saying that… doesn’t really help…?

Trying to help in a sentence on a forum would be very difficult. All I was trying to say was you’re not alone or it’s not unusual.

We all must have our own ways of dealing with challenges. I don’t pretend to know answers to this. My own opinion would be that something that stimulates your mind is the answer. Something with a goal and achievement at the end. Listening to music, reading, watching tv, going to the pub… (sort of things) is not my idea of achieving something and would only make me feel good if something else is going on in my life.

So… I am already reading all the books of a number of Scandi Noir authors (so, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Camilla Lackberg, Ragnar Jonasson and Jorn Lier Horst - with Henning Mankell in the To Read list).

Led Zeppelin’s albums are on my Car USB stick - actually its the Remasters CD’s - all 6 of them. So that’s covered…

I have all The Beatles LP’s on CD - and have partly worked thru them before. Maybe do that…?

I have a limited Classical collection. I might think about building that up a bit more. It would rally be re-building it - as I sold off quite a few CD’s, a few years back. I did have almost all Dvorak’s symphonies and I think all of Brahms…? And a few Mozart & Beethoven.

Some good suggestions there. Thank you @graham55 .

Yes, I know what you meant. But…

Anyway, your 2nd paragraph above is much more On The Money…! Thank you.

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Disclaimer: I am a retired Mental Health Nurse and have helped many many people with anxiety and/or depression.

Exercise, hobbies, going out to places, learning new skills etc. are simply distractions that may temporarily disguise the symptoms but ultimately will not deal with the cause of your anxiety/depression.

Only by discovering the cause of your anxiety/depression and finding a way to deal with that cause, will you be free of it.

You say you have been seeing a councillor for a long time. How long? If it is years, then I would respectfully suggest this is the wrong counsellor for you. Finding another counsellor may expedite finding the cause of your anxiety/depression.

There is much I could say and advise but this is not the place to do that.


Hi, I see you referenced the thread where I replied previously. Depression is often not single cause related, just the last final thing that preceded depression was the final straw. I’m reluctant to say more but your counsellor is key to finding a way to deal with life as you live it. If you find that it doesn’t help after a decent interval then consider a change of counsellor. We don’t always warm to our counsellors and there’s nothing wrong with that. Find one you can work with if you find the present one not so effective.
Having some goals in a general sense is always useful, but that can feel false if you don’t have a specific interest already. Look at what you have liked in the past, places you may have wanted to visit, or even music concerts you might have liked. It may give you a start for a plan to attend something or somewhere in the future.
Good luck with it.
(On a personal note I am a dog person and at my lowest and alone finding a rescue that needed me as much as I needed him helped me focus).


I will attempt to do a combined reply, to @Graeme and @bruss above.

The replies might be taken as 2 sides of a coin. One is a little negative - the other is more positive.

I have been talking with my Counsellor (thanks to Covid, its now over the phone, rather than in person - but it works fine, for me), for I think around 10 years - with some gaps. I would not continue, if this didn’t ‘work’ for me and was not useful. So… thank you, but I will stick with her, if I may…?

I think Ian has identified the cause, it’s mentioned in his opening post.
Nothing can be done about the cause, its done and rarely can be undone. Therefore managing symptoms may be the only option.


I am liking and relating to this…! Concerts are something that I ‘do’ - subject to the concert actually existing…!!! I have booked to see Toyah & Robert Fripp, later this year. I have both Samantha Fish & Thea Gilmore on my possibles list.

But… my shortage of confidence does play a part. I am much more likely to do to a concert at a venue or location that I already know (so anything central Birmingham or Leicester) - rather than ‘new to me’ ones. Hmm… There’s something to work on…!!

Thank you - and yes. In my case, there are clear events which were triggers - and which are facts. They cannot be argued away. They happened - so living with it is the only way. And managing the result is what I am trying to do.

I have changed my view on the use of medication. Previously, I saw getting off meds as the aim - almost no matter what. Meds were bad. But… after many tries, I finally found some meds that both work - and (importantly) have minimal side effects in my case. Doesn’t measn others might hate them - but for me, they are the best ever. Still not 100% problem free, but much better than… (I could list those which didn’t work).

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This offered in case anything helps, though I am very lucky in that I have never had anxiety/depression (or similar) take over my life or affect me doing what I want/need to do, nor prevent me enjoying life. I have had a few instances where life events, such as you describe, have threatened to destabilise things, sometimes the dark shadow of depression/anxiety creeping up on me as if to try to drag me in, but I have always managed to overcome and ride through them. Three things in particular have helped.

One is my own psyche, which of course personal to me so probably not worth trying to explore here.

The second, which helped with relationship issues, is that to survive school I became, as I put it, the fastest wall-builder in the west. (Which is why Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” resonates with me.) I did learn in my 30s how to, and that it was beneficial to, lower the wall enough to let the few people special to me in, but always ready to use my wall-building skills in an instant if threatened.

The third is music: At times of life’s struggles I find that music which other people sometimes dismiss as having depressing subject matter is actually very cathartic and, to me, uplifting. My taste for prog rock and tragic opera provides many opportunities, and it is to music I turn most in difficult time - and less, or at least I don’t miss playing it. when all else is sweetness and light.

Otherwise in life I have more interests/ hobbies than I have time for, so never a moment’s boredom, which probably also helps, and when I was working I had a very mentally rewarding (and challenging) job which also probably helped.


Please - don’t let this all be about me…!!! I hope a few others may be willing to chip in with their experiences - good & bad…!

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Yes, goals, ambitions and similar I am sure help, and working towards them - but always having more than one so something is always progressing, and achieving something doesn’t lead you aimless. In work I was always careful with ambition: it had to be realistic to avoid risk of failure, so steps on the way, though sometimes something beyond beckoning.

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