Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group

Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group

A Place Where Trauma Survivors Can Come For Peer Support


Welcome to Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group. If your coming from IG please register, log back in and leave a note in the apply here section that you are here and we will set you up.
You will need to set up your profile when you arrive. Shadow, Owner

Contact Information

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What is Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group?

Trauma Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group is an Ivory Garden Forum. Ivory Garden is a non-profit organization focused on providing resources for folks who are survivors of early childhood trauma, their family, friends, loved ones, and therapists. This forum represents one of those resources.

Here we provide resources that benefits survivors with healing - moving each forward through experiencing positive and therapeutic interactions including: peer lead exercises in a group type model, online support, one-one peer support for members, information and research in the area of trauma recovery, private forums and chat rooms, and webinars (within a teaching format).

This also provides those who support trauma survivors a place to interact, learn, and discuss struggles and/or successes they have experienced.

Our Goal

Our goal is to provide a safe, private, and supportive environment where members benefit from the knowledge and support of peer supporters, research, and each other. Members include: one to one peer supporters, therapists, childhood trauma survivors, supporters (family, friends, etc.).

Achieving Our Goal

Within this environment we will provide discussion forums for survivors of early childhood trauma, as well as forums for family, friends, and loved ones of survivors, healing exercises and educational experiences within a 'group type' format led by peer supporters. Members will have access to one-one peer support within the scope of our ability to provide within private chat rooms for all. Staff will moderate the forums, Peer Supporters will provide interactive group exercises, confidentiality within the board will be upheld, and members will moderate their own behavior according to the policies and guidelines of this board. All members will corroborate in a healthy and positive manner to ensure the integrity of the forums and chat rooms.

Our Support Forum

provides for members environments of acceptance, compassion, validation, and privacy. Here at Trauma Recovery, staff supports as each member becomes more acquainted and familiar with navigating and participating on the forums. Discussion is open. All age groups (body age must be at least 16 years old) are welcome to post on the board. Posts are completely private and not fed into any search engines - such as google or yahoo - as you will see on 'open boards'.

We hope to provide a learning environment through exercises led by one-one peer supporters, Information is power and the more you can learn about yourself the stronger you will become. We do offer 1:1 peer support. It is a great addition to the support forum. Contact a peer supporter for this service.

Our Chat Room

We do offer a chat room with audio/video capability. Members and staff are welcome to look over the rules and use this private chat room.

For additional help navigating the board, applying for membership, or setting up your profile, please pm any of our staff that will be glad to help you. Also, take a moment to read our Policies and Guidelines.

For any help, please contact

We appreciate your interest in our site.


Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group

Latest topics

» Self Treatment Of Depression
Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:48 am by Shadow

» Dealing With Depression
Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:41 am by Shadow

» Dissociative Identity Disorder
Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:30 am by Shadow

» Coping and Dissociation
Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:22 am by Shadow

» Coping with DID
Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:52 am by Shadow

» Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group Guidelines and Policies
Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:27 am by Shadow

» Trauma Recovery Therapeutic Support Group Self-Regulating Behavior
Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:22 am by Shadow

    Self Treatment Of Depression



    Posts: 1557
    Join date: 2011-03-09
    Age: 46
    Location: Indiana

    Self Treatment Of Depression

    Post by Shadow on Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:48 am

    Treatment of Depression:
    Suggestions for Helping Yourself

    • Depression often co-exists with anxiety disorders. Most recent
      research suggests that when both disorders are present, depression
      is usually a secondary complication of the primary anxiety
    • Depression is a health problem that touches every part of a
      person's life. All of us know what it is like to be stuck in a
      depressed mood that is temporary. However, as many as 1 in 4 women
      and 1 in 8 men will at some point in their lives experience a much
      more severe and persistent episode of depression.
    • Symptoms of depression include:

      1. Ongoing sadness or irritability

      2. Loss of interest or enjoyment in daily activities, including

      3. Decrease or increase in appetite and weight

      4. Poor sleep or sleeping too much

      5. Feeling restless, anxious or worried

      6. Feeling tired or like you have no energy

      7. Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless or guilty

      8. Trouble concentrating or making decisions

      9. Physical symptoms that don't respond to treatment

      10. Thoughts about death, maybe including thoughts about
    • If your physician or your psychotherapist believes you are
      significantly depressed, this does not mean that you are "crazy,"
      or "weak," or that you have failed somehow.
    • Some people seem to be more likely to get depressed because it
      runs in their family, even when they don't seem to have a
      compelling reason to be unhappy. Other people seem to be more prone
      to depression because of poor self-esteem, perfectionism or a
      persistently pessimistic outlook about life. Still others become
      depressed in the midst of dealing with an ongoing stressful
      situation, a traumatic incident or a significant loss which may be
      either the literal loss of a loved one or a more figurative
    • Even if your depression clearly began after some very upsetting
      life event, certain physical changes take place within you that
      exert a powerful effect on your body, mood and thoughts. The
      thinking patterns you have when depressed tend to keep you in a
      "rut" that becomes self-perpetuating and that makes it hard to cope
    • Although depression can be devastating to both individuals and
      their families, the good news is that depression does tend to
      respond to treatment. There is impressive literature to support the
      effectiveness of both cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (see
      below) and antidepressant medications.
    • Psychotherapy is most likely to be effective if it focuses on
      changing distorted thinking, behavioral habits, ineffective
      problem-solving, emotionally-skewed beliefs, or relationship
      conflicts that contribute to or help to perpetuate an individual's
      depression. Evidence suggests that a successful course of such
      treatment cuts the risk of a recurrence of depression compared to
      treatment with medication only. Treatment of depression with
      psychotherapy may not provide relief as quickly as medication, but
      the results may be more durable.
    • There are at least 15 commonly used medications that seem to
      have significant antidepressant effects. Your doctor and your
      therapist can provide you with more specific information if
      medication is recommended for you. In general, no single
      antidepressant is more effective than any other antidepressant in
      most grouped data. However, for a given individual, there may be
      marked differences in effectiveness across drugs. After several
      medication trials, results may range from partial improvement of
      symptoms to truly transforming effectiveness. (No, antidepressants
      are not "just a crutch" and, no, you cannot get "addicted" to
    • If medicine is part of your treatment, be sure to take it as
      your doctor instructs. These medicines are not effective if
      you take them only when you are especially upset. You must maintain
      a fairly constant blood level of the medicine for it to help
    • You may notice some positive changes during the first week of
      taking a medicine; however, it is likely that you will have to take
      a medicine for at least four weeks at an adequate dose before you
      can really judge whether it might help you. Do not despair if the
      first choice of medicine does not work well for you. Switching to a
      similar drug or switching to a chemically distinct drug often
      results in significant improvement after a "failed" first or second
      trial of medication. Follow your doctor's instructions and be
    • Choices about medications are often driven by side effect
      profiles. Most side effects of antidepressants tend to improve with
      time as your body adjusts to the drug. However, some people may
      experience persistent side effects (e.g., gastrointestinal upset,
      activation or sedation, diminished sexual arousal or performance,
      headaches, weight gain). Side effects can usually be minimized by
      working with your doctor toward finding the best medication for
      you, switching medications, adjusting the dose, or taking an
      additional medication that either augments your antidepressant
      response at a given dose or diminishes the side effects.
    • There is some evidence that "natural" supplements like St.
      John's Wort or SAMe may be helpful for mild to moderate depression.
      Calling these substances "natural" does not mean that they
      are somehow better for you, entirely safe, won't have side effects,
      and won't interact with other drugs. (For example, note the recent
      concerns about liver damage with kava, once thought to be a benign,
      natural treatment for anxiety.) Be sure to discuss this decision
      with your doctor before starting anything and keep your doctor
      informed about what you're taking.
      At a sufficient dose, such
      substances may be nearly as expensive as prescribed
    • There is continuing debate about whether psychotherapy and
      medication combined is more effective than either approach alone.
      There is evidence both supporting and contradicting such a
      recommendation based on grouped data. However, some individuals
      simply do not respond unless treatment efforts are combined. There
      is also some evidence that individuals who don't respond well to
      one approach still have a good chance of responding to the other.
      All research data notwithstanding, effective treatment for
      depression must be tailored to the individual.
    • There is considerable evidence that regular exercise has
      antidepressant effects that may even be comparable to the effects
      of antidepressant medications (see below). Check with your doctor
      before starting any rigorous exercise program. Start slow: 15-20
      minutes of outdoor walking or walking on a treadmill regularly is a
      good starting point.
    • Consider keeping a journal as a means of getting your thoughts
      and feelings outside your head so that you can see them more
      objectively. It may be especially helpful to divide the pages into
      three columns and record daily examples of: 1) upsetting situation
      or event, 2) resulting thoughts, feelings and meanings, and 3)
      challenge the content in the second column by writing more
      objective, less distorted, and more rational alternatives in the
      third column, even if you don't always believe what you're writing.
      This technique sounds simplistic, but depressed individuals who
      commit to doing this on a daily basis nearly always report that it
      is beneficial.
    • Be very careful about your use of substances while depressed.
      Alcohol and sedatives can bring on depression or make it worse.
      Depression may also prompt you to drink more coffee, smoke more
      cigarettes or take other drugs that may compound feelings of
      agitation, restlessness or irritability that are part of your
    • If you are having suicidal thoughts, do not keep this
      information from your doctor or a loved one. Keeping such thoughts
      secret can be fatal. When depressed, you may well rationalize that
      loved ones will be better off without you. Quite the contrary, the
      suicide of a loved one usually devastates others in a way from
      which they never fully recover. Allow your doctor and your loved
      ones to help keep you safe while you recover.
    • Consider attending a support group for depression. The
      Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA),
      based at Johns Hopkins Hospital, sponsors support and education
      groups that meet regularly throughout the state of Maryland. Call
      DRADA for a current directory of groups (410-955-4647) or visit
      their website:
    • In addition to psychotherapy, antidepressant medication and/or
      exercise, it is important to read about depression and about
      practical, self-help methods for treating depression (see

    Cognitive Distortions Contribute to Depression:

    Depression is often perpetuated by frequent cognitive distortions
    (i.e., errors in thinking) that might be apparent to an objective
    listener, yet are usually left unquestioned and accepted as "fact"
    by the depressed person. Learn about such distortions from the
    examples below, begin to identify them in your daily thinking and,
    when you do recognize a likely distortion, challenge it: "What's
    the evidence for and against this thought?" "What is a more
    rational alternative to this distorted thought?" "They are just
    thoughts." "I am not my thoughts."

    (Shearer & Kaplin-Adams)

    Irrational Beliefs Contribute to Distorted Thinking and to
    We often cling to irrational beliefs that distort
    our thinking about ourselves and about stressful situations, thus
    contributing to depression. Learn to recognize some of your
    "favorite" irrational beliefs that can contribute to errors in your
    thinking and to a depressed mood.

    (Shearer & Kaplin-Adams)

    Depression is a Vicious Circle that Effective Treatment Can


    [b]Traditional CBT focused on changing
    irrational thought content.

    [b]Evolving CBT focuses more on mindfully noting
    and accepting
    thought content.

    • The former has a 30-year tradition; the latter has a 2500-year
    • When CBT was closely examined, the benefit was less a result of
      changing toxic thoughts and more a result of a changed
      relationship with
      toxic thoughts. (Segal, Williams, and
      Teasdale, 2002)

    • Evidence of a "changed relationship with depressing thoughts"
      or "cognitive diffusion" (Hayes, 2004) might include thoughts

      "Yes, this self-critical thought is part of me, but it's not
      ALL of me."
      "Yes, this really sucks right now. But it
      will pass and it won't ALWAYS feel this way."
      thoughts are just my thoughts. They're often irrational. They're
      not the litmus test of reality."
      "Oh, my mind is criticizing me again." "Who's life is this anyway,
      mine or my mind's?"

    • Use of "creative hopelessness" (Hayes):

      "I really CAN'T change how I feel right now, but I'll probably
      feel differently tomorrow."
      Or, like the Yiddish saying, "The situation is hopeless, but not

    • Practice acceptance but stay engaged in your day: "This is
      what it is. I do not have to make it go away. I do not have to go
      to bed because of it. I'll go on with my day and take note of
      changes in how this feels."

    • Becoming an observer of one's thought process ("Oh, there's
      that guilty thought again")
      repeatedly over time has a very
      different emotional impact. Compare this to participating in the
      same thought over and over with no intellectual distance until it
      seems to be the only reality possible and becomes the primary
      driver of your depressed mood.
    • "A 'negative thought' mindfully observed will not necessarily
      have a negative function" (Hayes, 2004) Eastern writers have long
      noted: "If I can take something under awareness, then I am not

    • Regular practice of mindfulness-based meditation may have a
      role in treating active depression (e.g., Finucane & Mercer,
      2006) as well as treatment-resistant depression (Kenny &
      Williams, 2006) and quite clearly has a role in preventing
      future depression
      (Ma & Teasdale, 2004), and in overall
      stress management (e.g., Grossman, et al., 2004).
    • Being truly disciplined about regular mindfulness-based
      meditation practice is a challenge for most people. However, any
      person can disengage from automatic thinking by watching a breath
      for a full inhalation and exhalation, or can become more aware of
      inner experience by stopping activity for a few minutes and asking,
      "What am I feeling? What is occurring at this moment?"
      (Germer, 2005)
    • Re-directing one's focus and energy to the things that truly
      have meaning can allow toxic experiences or thoughts to become the
      background rather than the foreground of awareness. Depending on
      one's spiritual beliefs or values, there may be many different ways
      to implement this. For example, if one's job or health situation
      seems inherently depressing, one might refocus on being the kind of
      person their loved ones need. For another person, it might mean
      pursuit of their spiritual leanings or contributing their time,
      effort or money to someone who needs it.
    • Antidepressant Effects of

    • 10 weeks of supervised exercise followed by 10 weeks of
      unsupervised exercise in elderly (mean age =71) with major
      depression or dysthymia: Compared to control group that attended
      lectures, there was significant improvement in depression scores
      that persisted at 26 month follow-up. (Singh, et al., 2001)
    • Older (> age 50) patients (n=156) with major depression
      received a 16 week trial of aerobic exercise alone, sertraline
      (Zoloft) alone or exercise + sertraline combined. Those who
      received medication alone responded most quickly, but at 16 weeks,
      all groups displayed improvement in depression without any
      significant differences among groups.(Blumenthal, et al., 1999)
      After 10 months, however, remitted subjects in the exercise group
      had significantly lower relapse rates than subjects in the
      medication group. Exercising on one's own during the follow-up
      period was associated with a reduced probability of depression
      diagnosis at the end of that period. (Babyak, et al., 2000)
    • Both resistance training and aerobic activity can reduce
      symptoms of depression. All levels of exercise intensity can reduce
      symptoms of depression. Evidence is mixed as to whether exercise
      alone or true fitness is necessary for antidepressant
      response.(Dunn, et al., 2001)
    • Treadmill x 30 minutes x 10 days in middle-aged patients
      resulted in significant subjective and objective improvement in
      major depression.(Dimeo, et al., 2001)
    • However, this effect has been demonstrated most clearly in
      subclinical depression and anxiety.(Salmon, 2001)
    • Eight week, placebo-controlled trial of a daily 20 minute brisk
      walk outdoors + increase in daily light exposure + vitamin regimen
      in women with mild-moderate depression and not on medications:
      Significant improvement on five outcome measures and remarkable
      adherence.(Brown, et al., 2001)
    • After only 30 minutes on a treadmill, urinary concentration of
      phenylacetic acid increased by 77%. Might the reflected change in
      phenylethylamine levels explain the short-term antidepressant
      effects of exercise? (Szabo, et al., 2001)
    • Might increased stress resilience explain the long-term effects
      of exercise?

    An Intriguing Abstract:
    Might both antidepressants and exercise treat
    by facilitating neurogenesis in the hippocampus?

    Ernst, C, et al., Antidepressant effects of
    exercise: evidence for an adult-neurogenesis hypothesis?
    Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 2006;
    (Neuroscience Program, UBC Hospital, University of British
    Columbia, Vancouver, BC)
    It has been hypothesized that a decrease in the synthesis of new
    neurons in the adult hippocampus might be linked to major
    depressive disorder (MDD). This hypothesis arose after it was
    discovered that antidepressant medications increased the synthesis
    of new neurons in the brain, and it was noted that the therapeutic
    effects of antidepressants occurred over a time span that
    approximates the time taken for the new neurons to become
    functional. Like antidepressants, exercise also increases the
    synthesis of new neurons in the adult brain: a 2-3-fold increase in
    hippocampal neurogenesis has been observed in rats with regular
    access to a running wheel when they are compared with control
    animals. We hypothesized, based on the adult-neurogenesis
    hypothesis of MDD, that exercise should alleviate the symptoms of
    MDD and that potential mechanisms should exist to explain this
    therapeutic effect. Accordingly, we evaluated studies that suggest
    that exercise is an effective treatment for MDD, and we explored
    potential mechanisms that could link adult neurogenesis, exercise
    and MDD. We conclude that there is evidence to support the
    hypothesis that exercise alleviates MDD and that several mechanisms
    exist that could mediate this effect through adult

    Light Therapy May Be Just as Effective for
    Non-seasonal Depression:

    For many years, special full-spectrum light, typically for 30
    minutes each morning, has proven effective for treatment of
    depression that occurs during the fall and winter months especially
    when marked by weight gain and diminished energy level. Recent
    systematic reviews suggest that regular light therapy is equally as
    effective for non-seasonal depression and that the effect size may
    be equal to antidepressant medications.
    Golden RN, et al. The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of
    mood disorders: A review and meta-analysis of the evidence.
    American Journal of Psychiatry, 2005; 162:656-662.
    Tuunainen A, et al., Light therapy for non-seasonal depression.
    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2004;(2):CD004050
    Martiny K. Adjunctive bright light in non-seasonal major
    depression. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2004; 110:7-28

    Further Reading on

    Note: If in doubt about where to begin, you might want to start
    with David Burns' The Feeling Good Handbook which is a sort
    of "Cliffs Notes" of cognitive-behavioral self-help for depression,
    as well as anxiety, panic attacks, perfectionism, guilt and

    Burns, David The Feeling Good Handbook. Revised Edition,

    Burns, David & Beck, Aaron Feeling Good: The New Mood
    . Revised Edition, 1999.

    Copeland, M.A., et al. The Depression Workbook: A Guide for
    Living with Depression and Manic-Depression
    . 2nd Edition,

    DePaulo, J. Raymond, et al. Understanding Depression: What We
    Know and What You Can Do About It
    . 1st Edition, 2002.

    Empfield, M., et al. Understanding Teenage Depression: A Guide
    to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management
    . First Edition,

    O'Connor, Richard Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach
    You and Medication Can't Give You
    . Reissue Edition, 1999.

    Solomon, Andrew The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression,


      Current date/time is Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:05 pm