How to Manage Depression and Anxiety

Today I am happy to feature a wonderful and strong women on my blog: Sophie Holmes from “Mummy of a Square Peg“. She writes about life with a child with autism, but also had to fight Depression and Anxiety in the past (and still has to sometimes). In this post she describes, how she dealt with it and how her life has changed since then. Give her a head’s up and check out her blog and social media:





And now: Enjoy the read!

The first thing I want to say is that it is completely possible to learn to manage anxiety and depression to the point where you can enjoy life again. When life’s challenges do raise their ugly heads then, you can confidently deal with them and smack them out of the park. That said, I have only found this out recently. Having suffered from anxiety and depression for the past two years, I thought that it was just something that I would have to learn to live with and that I could battle on through it, it wouldn’t defeat me because I’m a strong person…..ermmm NO! That is absolutely NOT what would happen. You see, I just gradually went down and down and down until I started having panic attacks and freaking out in a shopping centre. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I love a bit of retail therapy and I would always shop as a means to lift my mood. Now I was getting angry if I was stood in a queue, if someone stepped in front of me, if there were too many people in the shop, if the displays were untidy, if I couldn’t find the size I wanted. I could feel the rage building inside me. Even then it took an amazing friend of mine to sit me down to make me see that something was really wrong.

Shopping did not turn out as a useful therapy against Anxiety and Depression

What is CBT and how can it help?

From that point on I decided to take time off from work to give myself time to get better. The first step I took was to phone the depression and anxiety service and I enrolled on a group CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) course. The second thing I did was to book an appointment with a hypnotherapist who was recommended to me by my friend.

Initially I was a bit sceptical about the CBT course but actually it was really very good. For me, the best thing about it was meeting other people who were going through the same thing. When you’re in the thick of depression you’re convinced that you’re the only one going through it but nearly everyone you speak to has had some sort of ‘episode’ at some point in their life so they completely understand where you’re coming from and that is really reassuring. On the CBT course we covered a variety of topics such as dealing with negative thoughts, overcoming fears and phobias, assertiveness etc. It also provided us with practical strategies for these and a booklet to take home that I consult whenever I notice that things are going down again.

Can hypnotherapy really work?

So, onto hypnotherapy, before you say anything, it is nothing to do with swinging watches and I will not dance like a chicken everytime someone clicks their fingers. The hypnotherapist will put you into an REM sleep cycle through guided stories. The REM sleep cycles help you to process the stresses of each day, so if you’re not sleeping well at night then the stresses won’t be processed and you wake up the next day still as stressed as the day before. She also gave me an audio track to download to listen to at night, although now I play it whenever I’m feeling a bit stressed and it just brings my stress levels down a notch.

How self care can help

The other thing that I have learnt is the importance of self care. You absolutely MUST set aside time each week to do something that you enjoy. For me, those sorts of things are reading a book, doing exercise classes, writing my blog and having a really deep bubble bath whilst listening to my relaxation track from the hypnotherapist. As a full time secondary school teacher and a mother of two boys (one with special needs) I had completely neglected myself and this had a huge detrimental affect on me. Eventually I didn’t want to do anything at all and even getting myself dressed was a monumental effort. So now, even when life gets ridiculously busy and hectic I will at least squeeze in a quiet ten minutes to read a book.

So this is my journey so far with depression and anxiety (something that I thought would never affect me). If you’re going through something similar then remember that you are absolutely not alone so please make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. Whilst I still have some wobbles I am a 1000 times better than I was before Christmas and I can now enjoy many more things in life. I never want that Black Dog to get so big again.—

Thank you Sophie for giving us such a personal insight into your struggles with Depression and Anxiety. I am glad that you could make it work and found a way to revive a little bit from it. Even if there might not be a way to completely recover, it is important to know that there are ways that can make life easier and a little bit brighter. I really loved reading this post myself, so I hope everyone who comes by also does.

15 thoughts on “How to Manage Depression and Anxiety

  1. You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.


    1. Regardless of whether this was meant for Sophie or me, thank you for these kind words. I do think that this is the only way to go: passion and honesty.


  2. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance. I must say you have done a great job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!


  3. This is so important that these topics are covered! When you are suffering from anxiety or depression you often have the habit of thinking in a bad thought process. CBD is very helpful for some however it depends on different things such as a patient-practitioner relationship, the patient’s engagement and the number of sessions. There is plenty of other therapies out there for people like you mentioned such as hypnotherapy, art therapy, psychodynamic therapies and many more. I think it’s great you bring to light the support that is there for people. Mental health is so important!


    1. Thank you so much for commenting and emphasizing the patient-practitioner relationship. I also agree on the other points you make and that it is important to really engage during therapy.


  4. Hi Nadine:
    Great post! It’s nice to hear stories of how people have softened any sort of difficult emotion; as it may help others who read it. Well done. Thanks for sharing your story, Sophie!


  5. Thank you for sharing this post!! I also suffer from anxiety and depression and I am currently working on my recovery! The CBT also really helped me, but I’ll have to do more hypnosis especially after reading this! Thank you again. Xx


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