Depression and tea- does it help you?
one more thing, its really remarkable that so many people here are noticing sort off the same benefits from the ritual, the tea itself and stuff! That just can’t be a coincidence!
While I am currently pretty stable, having just come off of a very very bad episode of diagnosed major depression, I have had depression on and off for most of my life, since my childhood. My first diagnosis came in highschool but I think I was depressed for much longer than that. I started randomly failing semesters as far back as 5th grade (A, A, A, F, final grade B kinda thing) so it’s been going on at least that long.
I’ve been reading through this thread and it never occurred to me to use tea as a barometer of my mood, but it really is true. When I am depressed, I drink a lot of soda, and when I am not, I drink a lot of tea. I can’t stand green tea so that’s not very helpful, but I drink a lot of black and herbal teas. I’m not sure how much they work toward the actual depression (and tea is hydrating, believe it!) but I like them and while I’m trying to keep it from turning into an obsession, it’s nice to focus on something. My other main focus is my cats, of which I have 5. They have saved my life on countless occasions, literally.
I so wish that the ‘natural’ remedies worked on me. This last bout, my 4th and I wasn’t even 30 yet at the time (I seem to be on a 3 year cycle of sorts, 2 years of fine and then a year of very very bad) was so bad that even medication and therapy couldn’t help and after I checked myself into a hospital, I was desperate enough to try such things as Electroconvulsive Therapy, which is in fact still used and while no one knows exactly how it works, it did help me, though it caused all sorts of memory problems during and after so I really don’t recommend it if you have any other things to try. If anyone wants to hear more about it, I’m happy to talk about it, just follow me and leave a reply here and we can PM.
I’ve been lucky to have, if not a completely understanding family, then one that is concerned. My depression has a strong genetic component, I have 3 grandparents that had it and my brother has it too, though I worry about him since he’s been self-medicating with alcohol as men tend to do more than women. I try to tell him that medication and therapy are not weaknesses but he’s not open to listening right now. My mother has come to stay with me during my depression sometimes, or I go back to my parents’ place for a while, though catsitters are expensive and I miss them when I do. We are more than 3000 miles apart though, so it’s a solution that doesn’t really work all that well because we both work. At least right now, I’ve had to take 2 medical leaves of absence since I began my career and I’ve been where I am for less than 8 years. My sister came to stay with me during the ECD time for as long as she could. It’s been helpful to help me realize that depression is not a failure, nor a weakness of character, but an actual disease that I shouldn’t be ashamed of.
Back to tea, since this has been a long rambly comment that probably didn’t make very much sense, this thread has been very helpful to me with realizing the relationship between tea and depression for me, not causal for sure, but correlating. I’ve only been on Steepster less than a month, but I’m coming to enjoy the community here and I hope that I can stay and retain my interest and not falter into anhedonia for a long time.
I’m always willing to talk about this topic, even if someone just needs a sympathetic ear at which to scream and vent.
Thanks so much for posting your stories everyone. I love that tea has so much power, and is so much more than just a beverage. Reading everyone’s notes here, they are all touching and heartfelt. Thank you!!
I agree with you, Indigobloom.
I would like to write more on this topic, but I found that (for me) spending too much time writing (mostly blogging) was taking away time that was better spent elsewhere (including, simply enjoying tea, as opposed to writing about it).
I’ve had issues with anxiety and depression and had it really bad, don’t really care to go into how bad it was but it was bad. Doing more or less okay lately but still have bad days.
Today was one of those frustrating days where everything that can go wrong does and when you think it’s not getting any worse you step in dog doo… Can feel depression trying to set in so I hit the tea… Want something caffeinated but don’t want to be up all night (have insomnia that can keep me up past dawn if given an excuse) so instead I’m drinking some chai from a bag, think it’s celestial seasoning coconut chai, I need to get more decaf loose leaf teas. It seems to be helping.