How do I stop repeating negative patterns of behaviour that lead to lows?

The first step for this is awareness, and if you’re asking this you likely have the beginning of awareness. Further awareness would be to notice what negative patterns keep occurring and try to see what triggers these behaviours. Once you know what situations, people, places, things, etc., trigger your negative behaviour patterns, you can learn new ways to respond to the triggers or learn how to avoid certain situations (avoidance is not always the answer – in cases like anxiety, avoidance can actually worsen things!). Keeping a journal can help with awareness, and going to therapy can help as well.

What are some tips for letting go of the past?

A lot of times when we try to get over the past, we try to bury it and just move on, but this is more similar to denial. If you don’t deal with the situation properly, it can manifest as something much bigger and harder to deal with later on. You got to deal to heal. Some ways to work through it are:

1. Journal

2. Try to reframe the situation – think about what you learned from it and how it may have changed you for the better or helped you grow.

3. Be honest about the feelings and thoughts associated with the situation, honour them, and then peacefully lay them to rest.

4. Talk through the situation with a therapist.

Once diagnosed with anxiety and depression, will you always be prone to it and need medication for life?

The answer to this question will really vary from person to person. In short, it brings up the nature-versus-nurture debate. The common belief now is that “nature loads the gun; environment pulls the trigger.” If you did have depression and anxiety, it’s possible that you are more prone to it if you are triggered than someone who has not been affected in that way. But through therapy you can learn a lot of useful tools and strategies for coping with situations so that your anxiety/depression does not get triggered, and in many cases, if you are consistent with using those and your body does not require medication, then you will not need to take it forever.