What do you think depression is?
Your answer probably differs from that of the next person. A doctor’s definition may be very different to that given by the partner or parent of the person going through depression.
It doesn’t really matter what you think it is; what matters is how you think it affects you and how you feel. The following article gives some pertinent tips: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/can-depression-be-cured-without-medication-1117144 This is from a US based talk therapist but there are other ways to deal with depression that can be quicker and as effective.
Is England a nation on anti-depressants? From the BBC a while ago: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23553897 Mark Easton reported that 50 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were issued in 2012 which was 7.5% higher than 2011. The first thing to note and take on board is that in today’s world, most people experience it from time to time and in varying degrees. There is nothing wrong with it, certainly nothing to hide. It is part of today’s over-stimulated, results-driven, pressure-cooker living.
And it ain’t gonna change! Elisabeth Kubler-Ross produced the basis for the following chart showing the stages of grief but you can see how we experience the complete range of emotions illustrated in some way every day.
My own example (think of your own over the last week starting with a shock of some sort – it doesn’t have to be major – any sudden unexpected happening).
This cycle or journey across the Inner Landscape of the Emotions can and does happen each day plus varying stages of it.
These feelings are all part of the range of emotions we experience continually.
When we talk about “depression” – from my perspective, it means that we are stuck in the bottom part of the curve at point 4.
Instead of moving through to possibilities at point 5, we stay at 4.
1. Shock: Someone nips into the hospital car space you were just about to reverse into before your long awaited consultant’s appointment
2. Disbelief: You can’t believe that anyone would do such a thing.
3. Frustration: You realise that you could be late for the appointment, you had taken today off work as holiday and now it is wasted.
4. Depression: Feeling it is all pointless, you don’t have the energy or can be bothered. Might as well just go home.
5. Experiment: (new ideas to try out). Think: possibly phone the secretary for an alternative?. Decide to take the morning off and catch up with other things? Many possibilities occur. You try the first thing you thought of.
6. Decision: You make the call and all OK, someone has taken your slot and you can take his/hers, you are next in the line.
7. Integration: You have your appointment, you are able to relax a bit before you meet the consultant, to possibly be more prepared as you have had time to sit and reflect and may even decide it has worked out to be better this way.
In fact when you feel depressed, new ideas seem pointless; there is always a reason why not to do something.
Usually there is a little repeat record playing inside our heads at the same time along the lines of one or more of the following: Typical! Just my luck! It always happens to me! I probably deserve it! It’s not fair! Someone is out to get me! Why do I always get it wrong? Why me? Just for once why can’t it go my way!
These are watch points. If this happens to you, treat yourself to the book “What to say when you talk to yourself” by Shad Helmstetter. These in-built self-talk programmes running around in our heads weren’t installed by us, by the way, they are the sayings of others and we adopt them as our own:- “she’s so shy”, “he’s so clumsy”.
These were probably downloaded by parents, siblings, teachers or friends and usually many years ago. It works both ways. Denzel Washington, when only 8 years old, was told by his teacher that he was a special little boy and destined for greatness. Was that really true when he was just 8 or did he have a quality about him that led the teacher to say this which then became a self-fulfilling prophesy?
‘Always remember that the one person who listens intently, hangs on to everything you say is you – so say what you want to hear and big yourself up to you. You deserve it. You aren’t perfect, no one is, but you are unique. No one else is you which gives you the freedom to make you into whatever “you” you want to be because there is nothing else to compare.’ A “get out of jail free” pass.
Depression is a stage and phase and like everything will pass with the correct approach. Those who have suicidal thoughts and substance addictions should first and foremost seek medical advice and help.
The best definition of depression that resonates with me is:
“a mood disorder characterised by low mood and a wide range of other possible symptoms, which will vary from person to person. An illness that can develop quickly or gradually and be brought on by life events and/or changes in body chemistry.”
Body chemistry can be changed by environment so make sure you eat as well as possible. Organic leafy greens (organic to cut out toxins and health impairing “bad” chemicals), no pretend butter spreads from any oils at all. Use butter or drizzle olive oil on food after cooking for the essential Omega 3’s which are first line defence in depression and help prevent cognitive decline.
• Get between 7-9 hours sleep a night – priority. (New findings reveal, depending on the person)
• Have a bath before bedtime – soak and relax – don’t have the water too hot as this can have a stimulating effect
• Cut out watching or listening to news programmes – protect yourself from events over which you have zero influence
• Make the evening a time for fitting in some “me-time”. Do all the chores, preparation and organising for those around you, yourself, write a list for following day and then forget them. They are written down, anchored to the page, to leave your head free so you can then enjoy your diarised your time for you. Be healthily selfish. If you can’t take care of you, how can you help with those around you?
• Turn off, unplug and remove all electrical appliances from the bedroom, buy a wind-up clock to wake you.
These steps are all definitely mood and body chemistry changing. By reading the Shad Helmstetter book at bedtime, just 3-4 sentences, or a paragraph you can drip, drip info into the brain. The number one outcome of feeling depressed is that you feel you have lost control. Reading the book and employing the tips above can start the process of returning control.
If you are have constant pressures at work, from home, you may not feel depressed but be overwhelmed and overloaded on a regular basis. You can start taking the above measures as preventative steps to strengthen your own resilience.
NB – Never stop taking medication without first consulting and discussing with your doctor. If you feel suicidal, speak to your GP immediately. If a work colleague discusses such thoughts and feelings, follow through and ensure this knowledge doesn’t end with you. It is better to lose a friendship than a friend.
© 2014 Ruane BioEnergetics
The subjects covered in this website are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. If you have a medical condition of concern, please consult the appropriate health care professional.
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