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Rewiring my brain. I am doing a six week experiment to help my mental illness.

 I have treatment-resistant depression. That means that I have tried all the medications available to me and nothing is helping my depression. I have been hospitalized twice in the past 10 months for suicide attempts. I do want to get better. I go to therapy once a week, DBT group therapy once a week, and I take my medicine as prescribed. I am taking fish oil, B vitamins, Inositol, Magnesium, and D3. I use essential oils. I would do anything to make these feelings and thoughts go away. I really want to try Ketamine Infusions. Ketamine is supposed to instantly make suicidal ideations go away. It currently is not covered by my insurance and the infusions are expensive. I will need to save up for them. I want to live, I just want to end my suffering.

Until I can save up enough money for my Ketamine Infusions, I am going to try to lessen my symptoms. I have been reading about rewiring your brain to think positively. You can also do things to increase your neuroplasticity which can help you feel better. I first learned about neuroplasticity by watching Headspace: Guide to Meditation on Netflix which I highly recommend everyone watch. It has a lot of good information and explains the science behind meditation 

What is neuroplasticity? Neuroplasticity is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization. In basic terms, you can change your brain and form new neural connections. When you are depressed it affects your brain. It isn't just an emotional change. It is a physical change. When you don't get help for your depression it causes damage to your brain. Your brain can shrink in size and lose gray matter volume. When these areas are affected you can have memory problems, trouble thinking clearly, guilt, hopelessness, low motivation, sleep problems, appetite problems, and anxiety.

What can increase neuroplasticity? This is a short list. There are more ways.

  • Antidepressants
  • Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Learning a new language
  • Traveling to new places
  • New experiences
  • Logistical puzzles
  • Memorization
  • Learning new things
There are a lot of ways you can increase your neuroplasticity. Basically, anything that is considered learning. Repetition is important. It is also important to use your new skills. Younger brains build plasticity faster but older brains can still change. I found a lot of good studies and resources on Pinterest and Google. This is research backed by actual studies from accredited medical institutions. 

The things that I will be focusing on for the next six weeks are my quality of sleep, meditation, journaling, exercising, learning a new language (relearning French), and learning new things. It takes about 3 weeks to make something a habit. I am also keeping a gratitude journal. Thinking about what you are grateful for every day can change your negative mind into a positive mind. I am doing my best to stop putting myself down. When you have a negative thought about yourself change it into a positive. Getting in this habit will rewire your brain to think more positively about yourself. 

I've just started this experiment and I've already seen some positive improvements. I am hopeful that this in combination with medication and therapy will help decrease my suffering. I will post updates. You can also check out my weekly DBT Podcast on Twitch Thursdays at 4pm EST. Elektra's Twitch


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