( Image by Ryoichi Ikegami )
Have you had days where you didn’t want to get out of bed? Days where you felt that you had nothing else left to give? You’re not alone…
USA Statistics report that depression and manic depression strike one woman in every five and one man in ten, at least once in their lives. An estimated six to seven percent of adolescents in the US suffer from some form of depressive illness. Depression is classified as a physical illness of both body and brain. At the present time, depression is conventionally treated with medications, commonly known as antidepressants, psychotherapy and Electro Convulsive Therapy. Acupuncture, behavioral therapy, changes in diet and lifestyle and counseling are also accepted treatments.
First of all, there is a real difference between someone who feels constantly tired, lethargic, unable to function, gains or loses weight, cannot sleep or concentrate, experiences memory loss and may also feel being stuck or even suicidal and the person who is simply sensitive to the trials and tribulations of life and has the blues.
In my experience as a therapist and a sensitive, I have found that depressed people who have been battling depression for long or short periods of time, have similarities… These similarities include sensitivity, creativity and intelligence. They often also display personalities that have not truly found their niche. A deep sense of unexpressed anger and resentment at feeling unable to express oneself creatively and take real control of one’s life is often present. This may be accompanied by a sense of helplessness and hopelessness as depressed people feel that their idealism, individuality and dreams are not reflected in society or in their own lives. Many of these people have not yet found themselves or their way and are exhausted emotionally and spiritually as they continue to accept less than what they want or need from life.
Coping with Depression Beyond the Clinical Approach…
Isn’t it time for us to look at depression in more depth and not only from a clinical point of view? Might we agree that we each have a responsibility to understand ourselves more fully and realize that – despite labels, categories or medical definitions – we are each unique individuals?
As anyone who has experienced it knows, one does not simply “snap out” of depression. Help often is needed in one form or another…
You can use the following tips along with other treatments to begin the successful climb out of the deep abyss of a depressive state:
- Think and wear color. Choose colors that make you feel good and which give you a lift. Yellow, orange, green, white, purple, pink and blue are good choices. Try to avoid wearing and no sinking into black…
- Follow this simple meditation; it takes only a few minutes… Try using it daily. Imagine that you are surrounded by, bathing in and floating in your favorite color, light and energy… You can also choose whichever color you feel you need in this moment… Take long, slow, deep breaths from the bottom of your stomach and imagine that you are breathing that color, light and energy all through your body until you feel full. Remember, it’s not necessary to see the color in vivid detail in your mind; just the basic outline and feeling is fine. Even thinking just the name of the color is enough. Just a few minutes doing this exercise can give you a real and lasting lift.
- Express yourself! Feelings first, thoughts second. Talk to someone, even your own reflection in a mirror, or write things down. Find other ways to express yourself too. Crying and expressing feelings of anger, pain and despair in a safe comfortable space can bring real and great relief…
- Self soothe, massage, love and nurture your body. Touch yourself in loving ways. Allow yourself to feel good.
- For every negative thought that you have, follow it with a higher Positive Thought. Repeat positive and powerful words and phrases such as “I love myself completely without condition” and “I am a free and powerful being”. Use and be inspired by my “Positive Thought Cards”! You can also write your own positive affirmations! Use them often!
- Move around. Make time for 30 minutes of exercise in some form every single day, even if it’s just for a walk. Make the effort, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Ask for and accept help from others. Know that depression does have a beginning, middle and an end. You CAN come through it. See depression as a small slice of a big pie. It is just the slice that you happen to be focused on and feel struck in right now… But know that all the rest of that pie is still there to live, taste and experience.
- Build up your self-esteem daily even in small ways. Listen to uplifting music; find something that makes you smile; get plenty of fresh air and light each day.
- Cut down an alcohol, meat, animal products, sugar, stimulants and processed food. Get back to wholesome basics. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains and drink plenty of room temperature water.
- Allow yourself to sleep. Take each day as it comes. Don’t try to solve all problems in one day. Break patterns, habits and routines. Change your thinking to expect the best and the unexpected.
It is important to know that, even in your darkest deepest moments, you are not alone. Millions of other people are sharing your same experience. Remember that depression needs a gentle and growing awareness of who you are and what you need, rather than simply denial, “putting the past behind you” and positive thoughts. In your darkest moments, you are journeying not only through depression but also through the unknown within yourself. There IS life before and after depression and one day you may well look back and realize the value of the experience.